Saturday, 16 June 2012

Mucky ducks and good gulls

Having just about recovered from one of the most manic weeks work wise that I've ever had (including 4 hours of teaching today), I headed out with Josh this afternoon to Crossness. Times were hard a week or so ago, and the spring seemed to have finished. The only unusuals I've had this week have been the continued presence of the two Egyptian Geese on the dock outside my flat roosting by the watersports centre - not the most pleasant of sights if I'm honest.

So, just to cap this mongrel wildfowl fest off this bad boy hybrid Ruddy Shelduck x Common Shelduck was on the Thames foreshore off the golf centre this afternoon: -
hybrid Ruddy x Common Shelduck

Very similar in plumage to the hybrid at the top of this page
It is actually quite a smart bird (having been seen last weekend in Barking Bay) and I'm a bit of a fan of looking at anything that looks different, even if its genealogy is rather suspect. There were also 4 Yellow-legged Gulls (2nd-summer and three 1st-summers) on the foreshore, including this showy bird: -
1st-summer Yellow-legged Gull - variably battered at this time of year, and interesting to see the variation. Perhaps the more streak-headed, more retarded and slightly less bleached 1st-summers are lusitanicus but this is pure speculation and more experience/research is needed. There was a recent ringing recovery from Beddington though.
It got even better at the outfall, as there was a real surprise in the form of a nice 1st-summer Little Gull that busily fed with the most distant Black-headed Gulls. There were also three 1st-summer Med Gulls still knocking around too, so it'd be nice if these guys nob around all summer so there's something to look at on the quiet days ahead.

Back in Rotherhithe, had a couple of ringed gulls too - a 1st-summer GBB red-ringed from the North Thames ringing group and interestingly, a white-ringed 2nd-summer Herring that'll be from the Sussex rehabilitation project.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rich -

    If those birds are Common x Ruddy Shelduck, where do they get their prominent white eyerings from?

    I've been puzzling over a similarly motley set of birds in SW Middx recently, which I think may be Australian x Ruddy or South African.

    Seems a reasonable game to play in late June!

    All best,