Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Business as usual: February 2010 summary

The north shore at EIDB looking east, February 2010.

Apart from a short-lived cold snap early in the month February was generally mild with lots of rain; it was a fairly quiet month with just two new species recorded for the year; an elusive Kingfisher at EIDB on the 17th and a skein of four Greylag Geese flying east on the 27th, otherwise it was pretty much business as usual, the male Black Redstart was in the copse at EIDB on the 6th but generally seemed to prefer to spend his time 200 metres west of the basin in the Virginia Quay area, Common Teal peaked at c190 on the 6th but had dwindled to 65 by the 28th, the only Redwing was also on the 6th along with a good count of four Grey Wagtails and a Peregrine; a Chiffchaff was in the copse on the 14th but was only seen on one other date, the 21st; an adult Yellow-legged Gull was on the Thames on the 17th; Shelduck numbers built up during the month and reached a record site count of 18 birds on the 21st including 16 together at EIDB along with 41 Tufted Duck and 86 Mallard; the high tide roost held 18 Redshank and a Common Sandpiper on the 21st, with a Lapwing flying north-west on the same date the only other wader recorded; perhaps the biggest surprise of the month was the discovery of a Greenfinch roost in trees behind the Esso garage, where at least 42 birds flew in to roost at dusk on the 28th; finally a Sea Slater was found on the 17th, only the second time this marine invertebrate has been recorded at the lower Lea.

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