Saturday, 23 March 2013

The first signs of Spring in the snow

I looked outside when I woke up this morning, to be greeted by the usual grey clouds, so typical of this winter, along with a deluge of snow falling. Being London, with all the heat and that, it wasn't sticking so I ventured out locally. The Rotherhithe gulls feasted on my bread, but alas it was just the usual suspects and so I headed on to Crossness.

Walking east along the Thames path, all I seemed to be getting was a face full of snow. Upwards of a thousand Black-headed Gulls, the odd Oystercatcher and Curlew and a couple of Black-tailed Godwits, but that was it. Hundreds of Teal and Gadwall were squabbling away at the incinerator outfall as I headed towards the paddocks, where I was greeted by this sorry looking chap: -

1st-summer male Northern Wheatear, Crossness 23rd March 2013
I did feel a little sorry for this Wheatear as on its first journey north, having done the Sahara and the rest of Europe, it was only to be greeted by the near zero temperatures here in London. However, on the plus side, they're hardy little things given where they tend to breed and the ground wasn't frozen, so it seemed content on pulling up innumerable earthworms to keep itself going.
adult Mediterranean Gull, Crossness 23rd March 2013

Walking back along the Thames with Mike, I heard the familiar call of a Mediterranean Gull over the river and it was only a matter of seconds before a couple (presumably a pair) did a neat fly by before heading off downriver. After that, with optics and clothes sodden, enough was enough and it was back to the warmth of home for the evening.


  1. Thanks for yesterday; and particularly for pointing out the Mediterranean Gulls ~ Mike .....

  2. No problem at all Mike. Very pleasant company and good to see you again. I am back home, just thawing out (even colder today!) having seen an adult Little Gull and 2 Common Scoters flying along the river from the golf centre earlier this afternoon. All the best Rich