Burton Mill 10 February 2022

Mixed woodland habitats on this walk of nine attendees held a good range of birds, as did Chingford Pond. Burton Mill Pond and the heathland were less productive. Marsh Tits are uncommon and red-listed so it was a treat to see one feeding energetically on a nearby Alder for several minutes.  Other birds seen or heard in the woods included Redwings, Siskins, several singing Song Thrushes, Long-tailed Tits, Nuthatches, Goldcrests, Chaffinches, a Greenfinch, a Treecreeper, a Green Woodpecker (seen and heard) and lots of Robins. A ‘first’ for most of the group was three Great-Spotted Woodpeckers flying together from tree-to-tree. Two  Ravens passed overhead: silently at first but with one short loud ‘croak’ confirmed the ID. Chingford Pond (in the far south west corner of the walk) had large flocks of Tufted Ducks and Coots. A surprise for all was the Great White Egret (now Great Egret) perched in a pond-side tree alongside a Grey Heron. It appeared to be gathering nesting material rather than focusing on fish or insects. Great Crested Grebes, Little Grebes, Pochards, Shovelers and Gadwall were among other birds on the pond with two Egyptian Geese in the woods. Eight small herons, gathered near cattle, proved (perhaps disappointingly) to be Little Egrets.   A Red Kite, always enjoyable to see, and a Buzzard were the only raptor. About 45 species were identified over the morning.