Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Goring Gap, Waltham Brooks SWT and Burton & Chingford Ponds LNR

All was quiet at Goring Gap first thing this morning, save for a seemingly new Reed Bunting calling at the seaward end of The Plantation. 12 Red-breasted Mergansers were on the sea but there was literally nothing else. On the beach were 36 Sanderlings, a Ringed Plover, nine Oystercatchers and 15 Turnstones. Two Linnets, a Meadow Pipit and a singing Skylark were also noted.

I cut my losses after an hour, heading to Waltham Brooks, where I joined Chris and Juliet in admiring a handsome - but sleepy - drake Garganey on the flood. Three Sand Martins flying over provided another year tick. A Cetti's Warbler, a Raven, a singing Treecreeper, a couple of Reed Buntings, a Bullfinch, a singing male Stonechat, a Water Rail, a Buzzard and three Meadow Pipits were among the other birds recorded.

drake Garganey at Waltham Brooks

A visit to Burton and Chingford Ponds produced a singing Firecrest, my first Blackcap of the year, six Little Egrets, a Water Rail, two drumming Great Spotted Woodpeckers, six Little Grebes, three Great Crested Grebes, 56 Tufted Ducks, two Treecreepers, three Nuthatches and six fly-over Meadow Pipits.