Friday, 15 April 2016

Rings, Ring Ouzel and Razorbill

A bit of a belated post for last weekend. Not very good at multi-tasking, with work, birthdays and blogs all happening this week. And the multi-tasking wasn't prevalent at the tip last Saturday either, where I concentrated on rings and therefore failed to have anything of interest bar a very brief 1st-winter Caspian Gull in the melee. On the ring front however, Saturday 9th April was a very good day with 38 ringed gulls - 8 of these not NTGG birds with birds from Guernsey, Belgium, The Netherlands, two from France and three Norwegian: -
adult Lesser Black-backed Gull - ringed as chick at Zeebrugge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium on 8th July 2011; seen at Blaringhem, Nord, France on 20th June 2013 and then at El Jadida, Morocco on 10th December 2014
adult Lesser Black-backed Gull - ringed in France... a new ringing scheme but still awaiting its history. A story behind the ring colour though, as it is meant to be red with yellow writing; a cautionary tale to understand that rings don't do well through time in some cases!
1st-winter Great Black-backed Gull - ringed as a chick at Store Vengelsholmen, Vest-Agder, Norway on 4th July 2015 then seen at Dunkerque harbour, Nord, France on 27th February 2016
1st-winter Great Black-backed Gull - ringed as a chick at Knogen, Nordjylland, Denmark on 30th June 2015 and seen Hirtshals Havn, Nordjylland, Denmark on 20th September 2015 and by me at Pitsea on 6th February 2016
Sunday morning dawned and it was time to visit Crossness with John A. Nice to be out and about there again, though it seemed rather empty until we hit the jackpot with a female Ring Ouzel in the paddocks (John's photo here as I forgot my camera!). Initially flushed from near the pumping station, it ended up skittishly chilling in Island Field. Little Ringed Plover nearby too, along with a Yellow Wagtail over but the chilling wind didn't exactly make it feel too much like spring. And I haven't even seen a Wheatear yet!

I headed over the Thames and to Rainham RSPB, where after more of a wait than expected, the moribund Razorbill was located floating at the back of a reedy channel. Mega London bird, but totally uninspiring and a sad sight (dying the next day). I didn't hang around long though, and I'd forgotten how much I like to bird places where there are few other birders! I get paid for my services to the community Monday to Friday, so having to deal with inane questions on my day off made me retreat back to Rotherhithe, where this queen was still parading on Southwark Park lake. My last chance to see this beaut as it was: -
female Common Scoter Southwark Park, London 10th April 2016
And so that was that, another weekend gone and some decent things seen locally. Hopefully the spring will get me out of the London area at some stage! In the meantime, here is a nice sinensis Cormorant by my flat enjoying the sunshine.
adult sinensis Cormorant Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe 10th April 2016

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