Forgive me if I keep going on about Gadwall in the Wanstead area, but if you have something good why not shout about it? After numbers steadily climbed during the autumn I did wonder whether last year’s record total would be bested. Well, it has been. The fine efforts of Dan and Nick on Saturday 13th December saw to that. Dan counted 368 in Wanstead Park and Nick added 43 at Alexandra Lake, on Wanstead Flats, producing a magnificent total of 411. If you were to cheekily add Ann-Marie’s 21 on Hollow Pond – a little outside our core area, but not much – we have 432 of these fine dabbling ducks. Even without, the Wanstead ‘patch’ is presently the pre-eminent site in London for the species.
Not that Gadwall represent the only waterbird interest. In the past week there have been nine Wigeon and 11 Common Teal in Wanstead Park, with good numbers of the other regular ducks and geese. Two Water Rails have been seen by Shoulder of Mutton pond. And, of course, there are Kingfishers, at least four different stripes of gulls, Moorhens (pictured), Cormorants, Grey Herons, Little and Great Crested Grebes, and Grey Wagtails.
Take a look around Wanstead Park: it really is beautiful!
Tim Harris (16/12/14)