Saturday, 5 October 2013

Guillemot and Little Gull in London

The week caught up with me this morning, and having pressed the snooze button too much, I was going through Woolwich (on the way to Crossness) when John A called me to say that he'd found a Guillemot on the river. A patch mega, and a bird I'd never seen in London before so abandoning plans to grab supplies at the local Tesco, I whacked it up a gear and got there as soon as possible. In just over 10 minutes, there it was - a winter-plumaged Guillemot... not that much in some circumstances, but all about context here. It was bloody distant too, in Barking Bay and then heading upriver towards the barrier. A nice Ruff on the foreshore and a Kingfisher added value.

With a few people turning up to see the Guillemot, including Jono L and Nick C en-route to Pembrokeshire (I admire their youthful enthusiasm!), I left Crossness with David B and we decided to head to Grain. A couple of hours there produced two Firecrests, but little else, and the Lesser Yellowlegs at Cliffe didn't behave during our brief visit.

Back in London, I stopped off at the Woolwich Ferry where there was this nice adult Little Gull lingering with the Black-headed Gull flock. Chucking bread out managed to bring it in, so although the light was dull and shots grainy, probably the best views I've had of the species in London. Also a 1st-winter Common Tern here.

adult Little Gull, Woolwich Ferry complete with tower block backdrop

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