Trip reports

Fishers Green Evening Walk on 13th Jun 2021

Nightingale singing
Nightingale singing (rspb-images)

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Thanks to Rich for this write-up:

It was a warm sunny evening, so perfect for our stroll around this part of the Lee Valley. We set off and stopped on the first bridge, it was a lovely tranquil scene with the water gently flowing below us. A pair of Great Crested Grebe were diving for fish while a Coot picked at vegetation and the only sound was a Wren calling its 'tic,tic,tic' alarm call somewhere deep from within the vegetation on the riverbank.

We walked on round to an area that opens up to scrub, suddenly a Nightingale began to sing in front of us and we stood listening desperately trying to spot this beautiful songster but it remained stubbornly hidden!
We then noticed a strange white 'webbing' hanging from the lower branches of some nearby trees. This is created by one of the Ermine Moth species, whose caterpillars spin these web coverings to protect themselves from predators whilst feeding. We heard a Cuckoo calling in the distance and a Chiffchaff 'weeped' somewhere nearby as a Fox trotted across the path behind us.

We moved on along the path by the side of the river, the sound of buzzing filled the air as bees fed on the flowers along the bank and damselflies flitted all around us. We stopped and watched a Blackcap singing away, its rich melodic song quite fitting for this fine evening!
A Garden Warbler then began to also sing nearby, very similar to the Blackcap but often described as more 'hurried' and containing more 'bubbly' phrases. As with the Nightingale earlier this bird also remained out of sight.

A Long-tailed Tit family moved through the trees, calling their high pitched contact calls and we could just make out the 'wheezy' notes of a Greenfinch somewhere over the other side of the river. Two Canada Geese fed alongside their goslings along the opposite bank and then Debbie looked up to the skies at the right moment to see two Red Kite flying overhead in formation!

More birds were defending their territories as we saw a pink breasted male Chaffinch singing at the top of a tree and also several Whitethroat that flew up from the bramble and 'parachuted' back down singing their scratchy little song. We had a brief glimpse of a Treecreeper and then a calling Goldcrest that kept us busy for a while trying to spot it high up in an Oak tree.
You had to be quick to tick off our second raptor species as a Hobby was then seen dashing over and quickly disappeared into the clouds.

After watching a family of Greylag Geese fighting the current as they tried to swim upstream we made our way to the weir which was unusually quiet. A Coot sat on its nest and a couple more Great Crested Grebe cruised around, apart from that we noted a few Mallard and a lone male Pochard was also present.

The return walk back took us alongside another relief channel, we scanned an exposed muddy area on the other side and amongst a small flock of Black-headed Gull were two Oystercatcher and two Lapwing. All these birds were taking advantage of this soft ground and most likely probing for earthworms. As we neared the end of the channel a Common Tern passed overhead and 'scouted' back up along it. We eventually arrived back at the bridge and made our way back to the car park as a family of Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over one by one and a Song Thrush started tuning up before dusk.

Total different bird species seen: 40