Record 135 bird species recorded

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: A Golden Plover: 135 different bird species were reported last year in Wanstead A Golden Plover: 135 different bird species were reported last year in Wanstead

A record 135 different bird species were recorded last year across two parks, according to a wildlife conservation report.

The Wren Group and Wanstead Birding bloggers compiled the data gathered in Wanstead Flats and Wanstead Park in 2013.

According to the Wren Group, the mixture of mature woodland, grassland and small copses in the parks provides the ideal environment for a variety of bird species.

Highlights for 2013 included record numbers of Wheatears and Common Redstarts in spring and Pied Flycatchers in autumn.

The area is also good for Whinchats and Spotted Flycatchers, which travel through on their autumn migration to Africa, the groups say.

Barred Warbler and Quail, which were sighted on Wanstead Flats at the end of August, had never been seen before in the area until now. 

In addition, more than 350 Gadwell were recorded in December in Wanstead Park, representing over 1 per cent of the UK population.

However, some species were seen to be in decline, with only one sighting of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker all year, and Skylark numbers also decreasing.

Wren Group chairman Tim Harris, said: “More needs to be done to protect the status of this iconic songbird.

“But I would like to thank all who made this record year possible, for the thousands of hours spent out on the patch in all weather and the help in accumulating the data needed to put this report together. 

“We are very lucky to have so many dedicated patch workers that have made this one of London’s most covered sites – in spring and autumn it is one of the best places in London for migrant songbirds - and the results speak for themselves.”

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