Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Spring arrives: March 2010 summary

Blackthorn in blossom and Hawthorn in leaf,
East India Dock Basin March 2010.

March got off to a bit of a slow start as blocking north-westerly winds prevented any migrants pushing through until quite late in the month; the adult male Black Redstart was seen on the 2nd along with 24 Great Black-backed Gulls, a local high count; 20 Shelduck on EIDB at dusk and another two on Bow Creek constituted the highest ever count for the lower Lea on the 4th, also on the 4th, 18 Redshank were in the high tide roost and 31 Tufted Duck were on EIDB, both monthly peak counts; Common Teal peaked at 155 and five Greylag Geese flew west on the 14th; two Little Ringed Plovers arrived on the 17th followed by two Sand Martins on the 18th and an Oystercatcher and Yellow-legged Gull on the 20th; a flock of nine Lesser Redpolls was feeding in birches in the Eco Park on the 21st, which turned into something of a red letter day with three Northern Wheatear and a different Black Redstart on the Pura Foods peninsula and a flock of four Jackdaws flying north at EIDB; the 21st also saw 72+ Greenfinch in the Esso garage roost and three Chiffchaffs in the Eco Park, both monthly peak counts; the first Blackcap was in the copse at EIDB on the 24th. with the first Willow Warbler in the Eco Park on the 27th when another Northern Wheatear was on the Pura Foods peninsula; an unexpected bonus came on the 28th when an Egyptian Goose was seen briefly at EIDB, the first record for the lower Lea; and finally, also on the 28th, a site record count of four Peregrines in the air together over EIDB were probably two pairs involved in territorial display.

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