Friday 19 April 2013

Willow Warblers and more in Rotherhithe

I spent a couple of pleasant hours locally in Rotherhithe this evening. And with the weekend of birding promise ahead, I was in a relaxed mood. So much so that I actually stood for several minutes, just listening to one of the Willow Warblers that currently occupy Russia Dock Woodland. Willow Warblers are just a passage migrant in Central London, so I only really hear the melancholy song for a few days each year. For some reason, their song always brings me back to childhood memories of long summer evenings, waiting for it to get dark enough for Nightjars at Nercwys. They're certainly more a northern bird for me.

Willow Warblers Russia Dock Woodland, Rotherhithe 19th April 2013
This year, Willow Warblers are about 10 days later than usual, but the seven I had this evening are a way better count than average. Just a couple of Blackcaps singing though, compared to 20 or so I'd expect by now.

I headed to Southwark Park and had a mooch around late on, and though passerines were packing up for the day, a Common Sandpiper on the lake in this urban park last knockings was the first I'd ever seen here - and the first locally of the year (I normally only see a couple each year).
Common Sandpiper Southwark Park 19th April 2013
For some reason, not too sure what exactly, there's a decent possy of non-breeding Herrings Gulls gathering on the pontoons on Greenland Dock; much larger numbers than I've had any other year. They're there in the morning when I head to work, and there when I get back. Nothing interesting in them yet.
Gulls on Greenland Dock this evening

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