Wednesday 24 April 2013

Rotherhithe's first Wood Warbler

It's fun times at the moment. The sun is shining, and the weather is hot. I've been stuck inside, as usual, since the weekend and with little in the way of migrants in London on Monday and Tuesday decided to do admin stuff and footy, shelving the birding. But, with a step up in action today, I headed out after school onto the mean streets of South London trying to find some birds.

So I got myself to Russia Dock Woodland - scene of the infamous marathon crash on Sunday (check out after about 5 seconds on the video here for the entrance to this mighty woodland) - and started my evening, pre-Tesco stroll. Nice, a couple of Swallows over to start with and then, along with a handful of Chiffchaffs, a Reed Warbler clucking away in the vegetation was evidently a migrant (though they do breed in Rotherhithe - in the reedbed at Canada Water).

So, back to the car and as I was approaching, glanced up into the nearby trees at the back of the primary school and before I even raised my bins knew that the squat, short-tailed stocky phyllosc I'd just found was going to be something special for Rotherhithe - with a couple already found today in London, I'd located Rotherhithe's very own Wood Warbler. Get in. Massive bird here in Central London, and my first in Rotherhithe so happy days. It's all about context, and Wood Warblers are birds I rarely see these days so I was made up just to see one.

News out, but gutted that like with the Redstarts at the start of last week, my camera wasn't with me. Not sure I want to keep a nice SLR with me each day where I work, but this being the second time in as many weeks where I could have papped a Rotherhithe mega and didn't has made me think. John A and a couple of other locals arrived just after I'd last seen the bird (7.10pm) in the declining light so missed out, though with a bit of rain tonight who knows. Though Wood Warblers have a poor track record of staying over in London, but we'll see. Funny thing is that Josh and I were only talking about Wood Warbler as an obvious bird for Russia Dock Woodland as we wondered around the place the Saturday just gone.
Russia Dock Woodland, Rotherhithe April 2013
I didn't do a write up on Sunday's birding, not because it was gash but just time got the better of me. Anyway, a nice long walk with John A around Crossness produced a male Whinchat on southern marsh as the highlight, while 5 Wheatears remained and the Green-winged Teal was still there. Two Lesser Whitethroats were new for the year, and nearby at Crayford I located a couple of Whimbrel while successfully searching for Kev's Spotted Redshank. All good stuff.

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