Sunday, 10 March 2013

LONDON NEWS

Mickleham: 100+ Hawfinch at Juniper Bottom late morning. Some pics here. There was no sign of any this afternoon or yesterday afternoon (following 12+ seen at 10.30am) so it seems mornings might be most reliable if you are visiting. Park at the Whitehill car park on Headley Lane at TQ 176 529 and walk SSE for c650 yards till you reach tall conifers on your right with open leaf litter bottom (shortly before pile of ash surrounded by stakes), this is TQ 180 524 - the birds spent a lot of time in these pines and also flew to feed in the yews on the other side of the path and also visited bare deciduous trees further down. Flock seemed to divide into two, with 60-70 or maybe more flying south for a time while 40 or so remained near said tall conifers, with other birds calling elsewhere. We had fifty in a tree in one scope view at one point. (David Campbell, Jamie McKenzie and Josh Burch). TQ 180 524 is 19.88 miles from St Paul's. Is this the highest-ever count in the London Area? My highest count in Dagnam Park/Duck Wood - a regular site in the 1980's and early 1990's - was 50+ on 23rd February 1986 (C. Jupp). I have looked through all the Essex Avifauna's: 200 in Epping Forest on 28th Feb 1942 and flocks of 200-300 were also recorded there in the 19th Century. The above appears to be the first three-figure flock in the London Recording Area outside of Epping and the last there was over 70 years ago, so an excellent record.
Hawfinchs at juniper bottom.(DKCampbell).
HAWFINCH 100+ at Juniper Bottom (TQ 180523) Ten Acre Wood area: 2 Barn Owls, Jack Snipe, Little Egret.
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