Wednesday 21 August 2013

Return from China

It's been that time of the year where I head off overseas. Usually I've been able to write about my travels on the way, but this year I've been in China for the last 18 days. No blogs, no facebook for this rather bizarre country that embraces capitalism [and unsustainable development] yet clings on to its communist ideals. A truly fascinating country, full of extremes, and glad I've been able to see the place for myself. But I'll need to go back at some stage to see some real quality birds.

Karen and I travelled around, staying in 4 places - Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an and Guilin. Terracotta Warriors, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and The Great Wall visited, as well as the ultra modern stuff in Shanghai and karst scenery in Guilin, there was also time for some birding. 5 days or so all in all - many thanks to Terry T, Mark M and Dev who made this happen as well as Philip He and Jiawei Wu for helping me out around Yangxian and Zhuque (and to Karen who is always tolerant). More comprehensive stuff to come, but here are a few bits and bobs: -
Crested Ibis, Yangxian

Reed Parrotbill, Hengshui

Black-tailed Gull, Nanhui

Vinaceous Rosefinch, Zhuque Forest Park

White-collared Yuhina, Zhuque Forest Park
And also, some of that general tourist stuff wasn't bad either: -

Meanwhile in Rotherhithe, she is still about and has new wings that have been grown since early August.

female Long-tailed Duck, Rotherhithe 20th August 2013
Also had this excessively ringed Lesser Black-backed Gull (which I believe is from The Netherlands) at Crossness yesterday morning: -
Lesser Black-backed Gull, Crossness 20th August 2013

Thursday 1 August 2013

midsummer goings on in Rotherhithe

It is no ordinary summer here in Rotherhithe, as the female Long-tailed Duck continues to stay on at Surrey Water and was still around earlier this afternoon. I doubt she'll be going anywhere anytime soon given the state of her wing moult, in that she hasn't got any outer primaries at the moment.
female Long-tailed Duck Rotherhithe 29th July 2013
There are lots of gulls on the river at the moment, and I had a nice adult Mediterranean Gull drift over high east today amongst the hundreds of Black-headed Gulls. Large gulls are once again congregating on the mud off the Hilton Hotel, with lots of juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls in particular, as well as this 2nd-summer/3rd-winter Yellow-legged Gull today.

3cy Yellow-legged Gull Rotherhithe, 1st August 2013. P8 to P10 are old second generation feathers. P5 is growing with P6 and P7 dropped. Typical moult for a 3cy at this time of year (they usually just have two or three older outer primaries).
Anyway, that'll be it for a while now in terms of updates from me as off on my summer hols later on today.