Spring migration is underway at the Erith Marshes Crossness Nature Reserve site, with Sunday 3rd April seeing some early migrants. Our first, and earliest, Sedge Warbler, was captured as part of the Dartford Ringing Group’s bird monitoring activities for the national BTO scheme. Our earliest ringing record for Sedge Warbler prior to this was 13th April in 2009. Brent and Rainham also recorded Sedge Warbler on Sunday, so the Greater London area is certainly starting to see migrants dropping in.
A Willow Warbler also put in an appearance, singing in the Willow tree near the dipping platform in the Protected Area. There were a number recorded in the London area on Sunday, but the last time we had one this early, was five years ago, when a Willow Warbler was captured at Crossness on the very same day: 3rd April 2011.
The beautifully, elegant Wheatear are also back. Two were captured in a lovely photo by Ian Jackson at the weekend.
Other signs that spring has sprung include display flights of both Skylark and Meadow Pipit over the Cory Fields (under ‘development’ threat from Cory ‘Environmental’); 2 Little Ringed Plover on the West Paddock. Chiffchaffs, Greenfinch and Dunnock are singing, and the Canada Geese seem to be claiming their usual spot on the wader scrape island.
Karen Sutton, Nature Reserve Manager