15 April 2013

London-wide fall!

Today turned out to be quite phenomenal locally for spring migrants, not only at the patch but across the whole of the London recording area, with a Hoopoe, Mealy Redpoll, Nightingale, Pied Flycatcher, several Ring Ouzels and Tree Pipits seen, and Dominic Mitchell tallied up an amazing 44 Common Redstarts, 260+ Northern Wheatears and 244+ Willow Warblers amongst the migrants reported! Interestingly, Dungeness, Sandwich Bay and Portland Bill Bird Observatories all reported rather quiet days.

More or less the first bird I saw at Staines Moor early this morning was a superb male Whinchat flitting around the (remaining) hawthorns in the north-east corner, and a look around the hawthorns and along the disused railway embankment produced 1m Common Redstart, 2 Common Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warbler (2H), 3m Blackcap and 7 Chiffchaff (3H). Out on the grassland around 20 (17m, 3f) Northern Wheatear were hoping around the anthills and also along the banks of the Colne, and a flock of 10m Yellow Wagtail were feeding around the cattle.

Male Whinchat in the northwest corner

Male Whinchat

Part of a fantastic 10 strong flock of male Yellow Wagtails feeding around the cattle

Male Yellow Wagtail

The cattle have only been out on the moor a few days - a male Black-headed Wagtail next, please!

2nd summer (?) male Northern Wheatear

Female Northern Wheatear

2nd summer male Northern Wheatear (right) and adult male (left)

5 of a flock 7 male Northern Wheatear along the banks of the Colne

2nd summer male Northern Wheatear

Male Common Redstart
10 House Martin S, 15 Sand Martin S, 23 Barn Swallow S & W were noted overhead and 1-2 Red Kite, 2 Common Buzzard, 1 Pied Wagtail along the Colne, 3 Linnet, 2 Reed Bunting, and several of both Meadow Pipit and Skylark were also logged.

On Stanwell Moor 1+ Sedge Warbler, 1 Common Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler, 3m Blackcap, 10 Chiffchaff (1H), 7+ Sand Martin, 1 Barn Swallow, 1 Common Snipe, 2 Linnet, 3 Reed Bunting, 1 Sparrowhawk, 4+ Northern Lapwing and a Little Owl were noted.

For more on today's fall across London see here:

Weather: Heavy cloud for much of the day with some brighter periods and occassional blue sky (7-8 oktas), light southerly wind, a couple of short showers.


  1. Excellent shots, Lee, and very evocative of what will come to be regarded as a legendary day for migrants in London

  2. Great stuff Lee! Always very rewarding to get good numbers of migrants away from the coast!

    1. Many thanks Dave. Loving your blog BTW!