Snipe, Green Woodpecker and Chiffchaff at Thames Road Wetland

Further winter management at Thames Road Wetland yesterday (January 9th) included knife-cutting Reedmace and several square metres of Common Reed from amongst rushes in the west end shallows. The purpose of this was to restore more of the open, shallow muddy foraging habitat for Snipe (Amber listed nationally due to decline in numbers). Indeed one Snipe was flushed at close quarters as I waded into this area to do the work.

Snipe foraging habitat at Thames Road Wetland in winter. (Photo: Chris Rose)

Snipe foraging habitat at Thames Road Wetland in winter. (Photo: Chris Rose)

On the initial walk-around a Chiffchaff was heard calling from further east as I watched another individual foraging towards the south-west corner of the site. A Green Woodpecker was glimpsed briefly in silhouette on the Willows by the Wansunt, just upstream of the wetland, before it flew off with a flash of green to confirm the ID. This is the first I’ve seen here, and I’ve only heard one nearby a couple of times. A few Goldfinches were also around.

A Cetti’s Warbler was heard from two spots on the Cray by By-way 105, south of the western section of the sewer pipe bank and from the vicinity of the old ‘Pallet Yard’, also probably the wetland itself, so it seems like there are at least 3 in the area at present.

At one point around 80 Wood Pigeons flew over the site, spooked off Stanham Farm.

As I left at just gone half past four a Grey Heron flew up off the wetland, having been seen in flight earlier, but lost sight of behind some trees.

Chris Rose, Site Manager


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