Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The fall of London

I've only just got over the excitement. In fact, I was just far too stunned on Monday evening to write anything while yesterday evening I was scoring a screamer of a goal for the second consecutive week (both multi-observed by Josh et al) so was nowhere near the computer.

So, has London fallen? Not in the sense some of you neo-socialists and anti-capitalists think. Monday 15th April actually produced possibly the best Spring fall of migrants the capital has ever seen. From my office, on the mean streets of Elephant and Castle, I could hear a Willow Warbler singing away and throughout the day, whilst at work, there were updates on massive numbers of migrants from sites where if you had a good day you'd see a single Redstart with some grafting.
Rotherhithe - Russia Dock Woodland with Canary Wharf looming large in the background
So feeling pretty pumped, I managed to get to Russia Dock Woodland in Rotherhithe for just shy of 6pm and the impact was pretty instant - bang, a quality male Redstart flitting about in bushes by Alfred Salter Primary School. Then, quarter of an hour or so later I stumbled upon another male Redstart the other side of Stave Hill - this was immense as I'd only seen one Redstart in Rotherhithe previously here. And it didn't stop there as by the wind turbine, was my third and final male Redstart of this hour of really excellent London birding. Four Willow Warblers, two Whitethroat, three Swallows and a load of Chiffchaffs added to the buzz.

I've just had a quick tally of the scores from this mega day from the London Bird Club Wiki and it's totally mindblowing, especially if you realise how average London birding is most of the time: -
- 49 Redstarts
- 292 Wheatear
- 295 Willow Warblers
- 23 Yellow Wagtail
- 7 Whinchat
- 3 Ring Ouzel
- 1 Nightingale
- 1 Pied Flycatcher
- 1 Grasshopper Warbler

It's not like we're Spurn or anything here. By the next morning though, it was pretty much back to normal with just a couple of Whitethroats and Willow Warblers to show for my efforts before school, and then this evening a ringed gull on Greenland Dock was even more back to the usual stuff.

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