Saturday, July 09, 2011

Lower Lea Common Sandpipers

Last winter up to three Common Sandpipers overwintered in the Lower Lea and could reliably be found in the high tide roost on the western side of Bow Creek Ecology Park. It has been known for several years that this is one of the best sites in London to see this species during the winter months but a paper in the latest edition of British Birds magazine reveals that as the Lower Lea holds at least 1% of the UK wintering population (which is estimated to be just 73 individuals) it is of important conservation significance. The full paper entitled Overwinter population estimates of British waterbirds can be found in British Birds, volume 104, pages 364 to 397. It is an interesting and sometimes surprising read and highly recommended.

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