Saturday, 19 January 2013

Cold weather produces two Ruff

I had one of those bizarrely intellectual moments as I typed the title of this post. What is the plural of Ruff - Ruff or Ruffs? I've always dropped the 's' and haven't managed to find any definitive contradiction, so I'll stay with what I know.
Two Ruff and one Lapwing, Deptford Creek 19th Jan 2013
So here goes it. Early afternoon and I check one of my regular, usually birdless, spots at Glaisher Street, that overlooks a small channel 'Deptford Creek' that flows into the Thames a few hundred metres upriver of The Cutty Sark, Greenwich. Chuck some bread out and while the larids swarm me, four waders fly to the foreshore out of nowhere. Two Ruff and two Lapwing - the latter decent anywhere in Central London whereas the two Ruff are mega, my first ever here. The tide quickly pushed all the birds off the area with the Ruff heading north over the Isle of Dogs and the Lapwings heading west along the river over Rotherhithe.
Odd wader habitat but I guess that's what cold weather does to birds...
Prior to that I'd checked all the water bodies in Rotherhithe/Burgess Park from early on, with little success bar an increase in Tufted Ducks. The cheap bread I always have in my car didn't attract any interesting larids, and the 39 Waxwings trilling right over me by the Holiday Inn, Dartford would have made lovely shots if it wasn't the worst day for light you could imagine. An adult Yellow-legged Gull and a couple of ringed gulls nearby, and that was the score for today. Not bad as this was a bonus birding day, as my Saturday intervention class for my kids was cancelled due to the poor weather. More snow tomorrow apparently.

1 comment:

  1. According to Wiktionary and one two other sites the plural is Ruffs, Ruff being the shortening of 'Ruffle' which i think sounds like a collective noun for a party of them but that's me. Nice find.

    Laurie -