Sunday 14 April 2013

Crossness on the last day of my holidays

All good things come to an end. Quite a nice relaxing couple of weeks, what with a week spent locally after that chilled out trip to Iceland. But it's back to school tomorrow and in the comparative heat of today, headed to Crossness early on. There was a smart Little Gull roosting off the golf centre when I arrived - a bit unprecedented as this species is normally on the move here, on active migration. After a while, it got up and headed off west upriver; an Arctic Tern did exactly this mid-morning too.
Little Gull Crossness 14th April 2013
You'll probably have noticed that my photos when at Crossness go to pot, and the Little Gull above is a decent example of this. It's always too far for any DSLR shots, and when the tide is out and like not perfect then even digiscoping is a big struggle. But in a way all this is good as, sometimes these days, I seem to take more photos than actually look at birds in detail - so at Crossness there's no opportunity to do this and so the birding rules.

The same two ringed Black-tailed Godwits as this time last week were still in the flock but despite the much warmer temperatures, just a few Swallows and a couple of Willow Warblers were around. No Whitethroat or Sedge Warbler yet, though I'll take bets I'll be seeing them next weekend.
Teal twitchers at Crossness
The drake Green-winged Teal was still at the outfall, and a few people continued to have a look at it. Crossness seems to provide an everlasting impression on everyone who visits - that whiff as you pass along the Thames footpath and past the sewage farm isn't for the feint hearted, this weekend being no exception. The place isn't perhaps a walk in the picturesque wilderness, but it sure is the best birding site in southeast London.

I then had a chilled out afternoon at Eltham Palace, where a couple of Swallows whizzed by and a Peregrine patrolled the skies briefly. On the way home I stopped off at Deptford Park, where a single Fieldfare hung on in the heat.

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