Trip reports

Weekend Outing to Lea Valley - Saturday 16th February, 2019

Weekend Outing to Lea Valley - Saturday 16th February, 2019
Reeve's Muntjac by Steve Grayson

Saturday, 23 February 2019

First stop was the Bittern Hide, where the only sign of that species was the image by the entrance; very scarce round here now! The 'tame' Water Rail did put on a show for us, however, and we picked up a range of waterfowl. There was a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the area and we caught up with a couple of Treecreepers here. A 'white-headed' Cormorant was tentatively identified as a sinensis bird, but the jury is out as to the exact identification criteria; primarily down to the gular angle. We later saw more nesting at Holyfield. As we walked along the river towards Holyfield Lake we had several Goosander flying over. A few Siskin were heard around the area, but none actually seen. We had the first of four Reeve's Muntjac on this section. Before reaching the Grebe Hide we had a couple of Goldeneye. At the hide itself we added a few more Goosander to the tally. We walked back along the river and had our only Little Egret of the day plus a distant Buzzard and a flock of about 20 Linnets. Just before reaching to the car park to pick up our lunch a Sparrowhawk was being harassed by Jackdaws. Over lunch several of the party saw a Red Kite fly over and one member had a Jay on a feeder.
After lunch we headed south getting the first of only a couple of Redwing for the day. After hearing a Bullfinch on the way, Hall Marsh Scrape had a flock of about 50 Lapwings, but no sign of the usual Peregrine there. At Bowyers Lake we finally caught up with a female Smew and a couple of Red Kites flew over. Returning to the car park we became aware of the background noise that is so common round Croydon and added Ring-necked Parakeet to the day list; a pre-roost flock of about 25 birds was the highest count we have here so far.
Based on a report by John Birkett.