Friday, 22 December 2017

Local Jack Snipe plus the usual gulls

I finished for the Christmas holidays on Wednesday, so typically I've had time to do a bit of local stuff while fretting over braving the shops and completing the gulls section for the 2016 London Bird Report. It almost feels like it'd be less work going back to work! Although you don't see things like this at work: -
Jack Snipe Greenwich Ecology Park, London 22nd December 2017
Jack Snipe is a bird I rarely see these days, so I was really happy to have a look at this fine chap as it bounced about on the small pond in Greenwich Ecology Park. In fact, it felt like I was back on Scilly staring at them on Lower Moors or Porthellick instead of having it with a backdrop of Canary Wharf. A thoroughly enjoyable, cryptically plumaged bird.

With low tides mid morning, I got the loaves out in the hope there'd be something about. Today and yesterday I visited Thames Barrier Park and it was really barren, which was a great shame considering how decent this stretch of the Thames was last winter. I'm going to put it down to the mild weather and continual west/southwest winds which just doesn't bring the roaming gulls into the big city! Nevertheless, there were four Yellow-legged Gulls there today (an adult and three 1st-winters) and three yesterday (an adult and two first-winters) but not the hoped for Caspian Gull.
1st-winter Yellow-legged Gull Thames Barrier Park, London 21st December 2017
Meanwhile in Rotherhithe yesterday, on Greenland Dock I managed my first ever Shoveler for the site - a female along with 49 Tufted Ducks - that presumably had decided to wander from nearby Southwark Park (where the species is regular).

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