Friday, 31 December 2010

Wandle - last visit of 2010

High tide visit, not particularly planned – I just forgot to check the tide times before I left. High tide visits can sometimes work out – there's a better chance of Kingfishers and I guess a high tide could be better for bringing some birds further upriver. Generally though it means fewer birds. Today paid off in an unexpected way with my highest Jackdaw count to date – at least 24 birds. Just a few years back Jackdaws were pretty uncommon here but over the last year especially they've become a permanent winter fixture – presumably attracted by the tip from the local populations around Barnes or Richmond Park. Also good numbers of Gadwall (at least 14), 1 Grey Wag feeding in the bushes above the delta, 7-8 Teal, 6 Common Gull and two of the Pochard still present.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Quality patch day

Duck bonanza on the patch today: over 150 Tufties on short stretch of river by the mouth of the Wandle, at least 24 Teal on the Wandle (maybe 27 but flushed by doggy walkers). Whichever, a site record for me. Also 3 Pochard (a year tick for me for this part of the patch). Also c20 Mallard, 8-9 Gadwall, c12 Jackdaw. Walking along the daylight path suddenly had a flock of around 45 finches fly overhead (presumably from the development plot behind the path). All the ones I could get onto (about 40 of the 45) were Linnets. I usually just get ones and twos of Linnets - record flock!! The flock headed over the Thames to the Fulham side, briefly perched on a house roof and then disappeared onto some rough ground.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Wandsworth Common Siskins

Short trip out with the family. Siskins calling from the railway line just north of the North Pond, 6 Shoveler, 2 Egyptian Goose plus Canucks, Tufties, Mallard, Coot Moorhen.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Beddington Crane

The lure of the juv Crane currently at Beddington eventually proved to strong and I headed down to catch up with this London/ Surrey mega. The advantage of looking for 3 foot tall birds is that they often stand out so a 1 second scan of the lake with bins quickly showed the Crane on a gravel island.

Out of interest the first two shots are digiscoped, the rest DSLR.

Spent some time scanning the gulls but nothing out of the ordinary - although what seemed to be a quite a relatively high percentage of argentatus Herring Gulls.

Also around a number of Tree Sparrows at the feeders and surrounding bushes, 2 Reed Buntings and c12 Lesser Redpoll in the bushes by the footbridge.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Barnes still on ice

Trip to London Wetland Centre with the boys - eldest off his reins to hard to get any birding done while keeping him out of ponds and ditches. Although warmer than recently all the small bodies of water are still iced over and even the larger ones are half covered in ice.

At least one Chiffchaff still on site (by entrance lake) also Shelduck, c200 Tufted on Main Lake, a flock of around 25 Redwings behind the Sheltered Lagoon, Bittern at the back of the Reservoir Lagoon, half a dozen Snipe, c50 Wigeon and circa 200 Teal.

Below: London Wetland Centre usually supports a flock of around 50 Wigeon from autumn to early spring.

This Bittern was taken at around 900-1000 feet which (partly) explains the poor quality of the shot.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Dip in Wells

Day trip up to Norfolk to try and catch up with Coue's Roller and Hume's Warbler in Wells plus hopefully some good birding on the Norfolk coast. Still a lot of snow on the coast.

Turned out poorly with roller and Hume's dipped (although I'd seen the Titchwell and Fairlop birds respectively so not even a Brit tick at stake). Did get a number of other redpolls including around half a dozen Mealies, a couple of Woodcock flushed from the cut between the woods and the chalet park, loads of Pink-feet and this Goldcrest hovering against the snow.