All three Buteo leaders joined forces to take part in the national BTO thrush survey covering the square which had been allocated to Dave. The area includes Sewardstone Marsh, part of the housing estate over the relief channel and part of Gunpowder Park. From mid-morning we walked around the square but unfortunately found very few thrushes which probably won't surprise many people as most birders seem to be commenting on the scarcity of passerines in the area this winter. We did record several Blackbirds, there were four or five Song Thrushes singing and we heard both Redwing and Mistle Thrushes flight calls. In the Knights Pits area we found two Chiffchaffs and heard a Water Rail.
Having completed the thrush survey we donned wellies to tramp (or splodge) across Patty's Pool Mead in an effort to assess the use being made of the area by wading birds such as Common and Jack Snipe. This was on behalf of the Lee Valley Regional Park biodiversity team. In the event we failed to find any Snipe but one Woodcock flew from close under Dave's foot. We will be keeping an eye on this area but feel that it probably needs to dry out a bit before being of interest to many waders. As we were making our way back to the cars a single Lesser Redpoll called and showed itself briefly in a bush alongside the path.