Friday 12 April 2013

Green-winged Teal at Crossness

I hadn't been to Crossness since Monday, and what with it being the last day of the holidays, thought it'd be rude not to venture out given the squally showers and a bit of south in the wind. Anyways, there was a nice winter plumaged Sanderling off the golf centre - my first of the year here - and a Swallow flew by midriver. There was also a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls on the foreshore, which had been absent for a while.

I trundled along to the incinerator outfall where I was hoping for a Garganey amongst the Teal and Gadwall. Always checking the common species, in this case Teal, is something you have to do here in London; it's not as if you've got vagrants in droves so it passes the time. And today was one of those days where there was payout as, just off the seawall, in amongst a small group of Teal and Gadwall was a blinding drake Green-winged Teal. Happy days, only the second Crossness record (last one was over a decade ago) and another good London bird that'll keep the punters happy.
drake Green-winged Teal Crossness 12th April 2013
 With the prerequisite hybrid check and the news banged out, I acted as an urgent taxi service for John A where I met him off the DLR at Woolwich. Back on site, along with Steve C and Mike R, all the ducks flew up but within a few minutes, with the heavens opening too, all had seen it. Half a dozen Swallows and my first House Martins - three of them - zipped west before John, Mike and I headed to the paddocks.

Looking from the screen, I picked up a Black-tailed Godwit. Now with 25 Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits on the foreshore, just another of them? Nope, it wasn't as with a change in habitat and the knowledge of nominate (Continental) birds and this creature's appearance meant only one thing - this was a Continental Black-tailed Godwit, presumably a first for the site. John A had come to this conclusion too, so another good bird south of the river (though Rainham has recorded a couple of these under recorded beasts recently). See here for some previous discussion and shots of this form.

Tomorrow's another day. Well, it kind of isn't as it's Karen's birthday.
A rather more confiding Green-winged Teal that I photographed on Madeira in February 2010

1 comment:

  1. After we said goodbye I walked down to the gate which opens onto the waste ground. On reaching the gate a Wheatear landed on the pile of old straw on the other side; it looked at me for a few seconds and presumably disappointed with what it saw, flew off. I couldn't find it again; the rain had started. I also saw a couple of Little Ringed Plovers (you had seen one earlier) in the field beyond the waste ground (looking towards the incinerator). Mike .....