Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Good stuff locally

I had a pretty nice time the weekend just gone. Crisp, cold with London nice and icy - and with dawn to dusk sunshine. And the furthest I went was the half dozen or so miles to Wanstead. In fact by lunchtime on Saturday I hadn't even budged out of Rotherhithe: -
Firecrest Rotherhithe, London 21st January 2017
This Firecrest was showing really well in the end in Russia Dock Woodland, while a couple of Fieldfares and Redwings were about too. With the tide about right on the Thames for the gulls, I headed the short distance over the river to Lyle Park and Thames Barrier where there was little about with just three Yellow-legged Gulls (a couple of adults and a regular second-winter). After Thursday's success in Rotherhithe (with the Caspian Gull in the previous post), I headed back south and gave the really local gulls a scan. Best thing about was this 1st-winter Yellow-legged Gull, a bird seen a couple of times at the O2 previously: -
Yellow-legged Gull Rotherhithe, London 21st January 2017
And so onto Sunday and it was Common Gull time. Wanstead is the place in London for this species, and there were at least 700 birds around on the playing fields and the two ponds. And with it all iced over, it was a very pleasant experience with five colour ringed birds (4 Norwegian, 1 Thames ringed) plus further metal rings from Finland and Norway as well as a metal-ringed German Black-headed Gull.
Common Gull JZ66 Wanstead, London 22nd January 2017 - ringed as a juvenile at Hovindammen, Valle Hovin, Oslo, Norway on 16th September 2015, seen at Wanstead on 19th March 2016, back at Hovindammen, Oslo, Akershus & Oslo, Norway on 8th July 2016 and 19th September 2016

Common Gull J3EN Wanstead, London 22nd January 2017 - ringed at Tveitevannet, Bergen, Hordaland, Norway as a juvenile on 14th September 2013, and then seen there again on 22nd September 2013 and Byparken, Bergen, Hordaland, Norway on 4th October 2013 but this is the first sighting since then and 1033km from where ringed

Common Gull J9R5 Wanstead, London 22nd January 2017 - ringed as an adult at Byparken, Bergen, Hordaland, Norway on 9th July 1998 with the colour ring attached there on 26th July 2011 - seen there in August 2011, April 2012, June to August 2015, Juy 2016 and Wanstead Flats 27th and 29th December 2016
Once the tide was right and the ground had started to thaw, it was back to Thames Barrier Park where there was a single 1st-winter Caspian Gull, 'darky' still lumbering about: -
1st-winter Caspian Gull Thames Barrier Park, London 22nd January 2017
A second-winter Yellow-legged Gull followed me from Thames Barrier to the O2, but that was about it there with just a Danish ringed Black-headed Gull there becoming my 100th gull ring that I'd read in 2017. And again, that was that and the weekend was over. A shame Dante missed the 1st-winter Caspian Gull at Thames Barrier Park and didn't get his birthday Casp.

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