Yesterday, I wanted to mix things up a little and get out of London for a bit. These days, there are rarely birds that really get me wanting to drive copious miles, and with the Great Spotted Cuckoo in Cornwall just too far (I've only ever seen one in Britain), I settled on a leisurely afternoon and evening at Dungeness with Karen. The birding was standard with an adult Little Gull, an Arctic Skua, eight Arctic Terns and the odd Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwit past The Patch mid early afternoon while a walk round the RSPB reserve produced the odd Hobby and a load of summer songsters included a Cuckoo. Nice enough, and Dengemarsh was looking pretty rare, though the highlight of the day was a 'fisherman's roll' from the Dungeness Fish Hut. Enough said.
|Bar-tailed Godwits, Crossness 5th May 2014|
Back in Rotherhithe, having walked through Russia Dock Woodland and along The Thames, I was stood at the end of Rope Street late afternoon just checking on the local gulls near Greenland Pier. I'd been looking skyward for most of the day, and then scanning over towards Canary Wharf I clapped eyes on something. It was one of those quick identifications - a Honey Buzzard - standard plumage (dark underwing coverts and a line across the secondaries), long tail, long wings held flat and that was that. No indecision or thoughts of Common Buzzard; it gradually started to rise over the south end of the Isle of Dogs, spreading its long tail and showing a kinked inner wing with bulging secondaries in the process, before heading off northeast. I believe this is the first in London this year, and the first one I've seen/found for over a decade in the UK!