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Sunday, 15 September 2019

Beckton Sewage Works

 September 14th 2019 

With wall to wall sunshine forecast, a visit was on the cards to check on the Beckton wildlife and hopefully get some decent photos.

Initially checking all the usual haunts at dawn showed 2 Grey Herons at roost on a Willow Tree and I caught one of the Common Buzzards slipping away in the low light.

Roosting Grey Herons

The forecasters were spot on as I headed to the foreshore, a nice surprise was a record count of 14 Little Egrets picking off the shrimps, certainly the most I have seen, the one I am still looking for is Great White Egret. Still needed as a patch tick and spreading out all over the UK and breeding, it is only a matter of time before I hopefully catch up with one.

Can still recall the first Little Egret I saw in the late 90’s, a big rarity then, working on a site in West London, who would have thought they would have colonized like they have, it looks like Cattle Egret is going along the same route.

Part of the Little Egret flock

I also added a site first in the shape of a Spotted Flycatcher, a welcome addition to the site list taking it up to 143 species seen on or over the Sewage Works over the many years. A good bonus as well was a Whinchat seen near the Flycatcher, another site rarity and passing migrant, seems to have been a good Autumn for both Spotted Flycatcher and Whinchat.

Spotted Flycatcher

All in all it was a good morning with some good migrants moving through, the hoped for passing migrant Osprey has not yet materialised but I know that one was seen going over up river so hopefully still in with a chance before they all pass through.

Birds of note seen –

Yellow Wagtail – 10
Grey Wagtail – 7
Whinchat – 1
Spotted Flycatcher – 1
Green Sandpiper – 1
Black Tailed Godwit – 4
Swallow – 1
Linnet -12 on the set aside

To finish the morning I caught up with the pair of Common Buzzards, no sign of the juvenile so presumably moved on but good to see the pair together, the female being slightly larger, not as pronounced as in Peregrines but there to see when you have got them together.

Both were given a hard time by the Crows but eventually they went up on thermals before heading off east, very likely off to Rainham RSPB where there have been quite a few recently.

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