Monday, June 21, 2010

A bit of a curate's egg: May 2010 summary

Shelduck at East India Dock Basin, May 2010.

May 2010 was a curious month, many migrants struggled to get through and the birders searching for them really struggled to find them, but there were one or two highlights, chief amongst them the first Osprey for the Lower Lea which drifted slowly north-east on the 6th. The month got off to a good start with a singing Garden Warbler in the copse at East India Dock Basin, also on the 1st four Little Ringed Plovers were at the basin, three Oystercatchers passed through on the Thames and a single Swallow was noted. There was a small movement of Common Terns on the 2nd involving 18 birds and two Arctic Terns flew east along the river, five Pochard arrived on the basin and a female Black Redstart was typically elusive around Virginia Quay. A Common Buzzard passed through on the 4th along with two Swallows but then nothing else of interest until the aforementioned Osprey on the 6th with a Common Swift and two Common Sandpipers passing through on the same date. On the 9th, three Arctic Terns flew west, three Common Sandpipers dropped in on the Thames, three Common Swifts passed over the basin and a briefly singing Lesser Whitethroat was in the Ecology Park. A singing House Sparrow by the Blue Bridge on the 11th was the vanguard of a mini invasion which also saw two females on the 23rd and two males and two females on the 30th; also on the 11th five Swallows flew north west. Another local rarity, House Martin, put in an appearance on the 23rd when two were hawking insects over the Ecology Park with two Sand Martins, (at least five more were visiting three nest holes at the basin making it the best year ever for this recent colonist). Also on the 23rd two Ring-necked Parakeets flew west, a single Stock Dove flew north and at least seven Reed Warblers were singing throughout the site with a singing Reed Bunting still hanging on in the Ecology Park. Finally two pairs of Shelduck continue to behave as if they are breeding, but, as in previous years no ducklings have yet been seen.