Trip reports

Walthamstow Reservoirs walk

little egret, wading, water

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Thank you to everyone that joined us for this walk. We had 15 participants despite the cold, damp, overcast conditions! It was good to see new faces and people who did not know the Reservoirs or the plans to create Walthamstow Wetlands over the next two years.

There were many birds and surrounding views of interest - my highlights were the Swifts zooming past our heads (the damp in the air had brought the insects down) and the Kingfisher which obligingly perched three times on the roots of a tree on 'cormorant' island on No. 5 so people could see it through the telescopes.

This is the time of year when many birds have young - on East Warwick island we saw both Herring Gull chicks and Lesser Black-backed Gull chicks, not that we could see the difference but identified them on the basis of who they were following! On the nearby raft (half of which has been taken over by vegetation) there were Common Terns. There was a single Lapwing on the far bank.

The Shelducks had little, stripey offspring swimming after them and the Greylag Geese hissed at us if they thought we were approaching their young. There were still young Little Egrets and Grey Herons in and around the nests in the trees where they had bred.

We heard smaller birds such as Reed and Sedge Warblers and Blackcaps in the bushes but the poor weather meant they were keeping their heads down. It also meant that there were hardly any butterflies or dragonflies around - one of the group spotted a lone Banded Demoiselle immobile on a bush with its wings folded along its back (a characteristic of damselflies, unlike dragonflies which perch with their wings outstretched).

Despite the poor weather, the group appeared to enjoy the walk and a few people even joined us for a drink (warming tea and coffee!) at the Ferry Boat Inn just across the road from the entrance to the Walthamstow Reservoirs. Fingers crossed that the developments planned for Walthamstow Wetlands go well and the old Engine House becomes an inviting Visitors centre!