Among the many complaints that January seems to usher in is that of cold weather. Yet the sub-zero temperatures are good news for one creature, the Siberian chiffchaff, which has been spotted at London Wildlife Trust's East Reservoir Community Garden in Stoke Newington, Hackney.
Approximately 3,000 miles off course, the Siberian chiffchaff is one of the rarest birds spotted in the area along with the sighting of an Iceland gull in mid-December last year. Identification of this rare subspecies of the chiffchaff family was confirmed by an MP3 recording of its signature call.
The East Reservoir includes a large man-made lake and the London Wildlife Trust are curently trying to make it more accessible for both wildlife and members of the public. Among the breeding birds that can be spotted at the site are the reed bunting, common pochard and sedge warbler. According to Mark Pearson, community officer for the London Wildlife Trust, it has proven a "magnet" for migrant species in such a dense urban area and both the quality and quantity of its migrants is unrivalled by any other site of a similar size.