I headed out of London on Saturday, with sunny skies and showy birds on the agenda. Inevitably I ended up at a paddling pool in Hove, just like a lot of birders in the southern half of England with any ounce of interest in photography. There are showy birds and then there are birds like this Grey Phalarope, that literally walked past doing its thing on centimetres away. It seems to be fit and healthy, though being completely unperturbed by its surroundings and potential dangers is of course a bit of a worry. But so far, so good and it helps that its favoured paddling pool is fenced in.
Grey Phalarope Hove, East Sussex 11th Jan 2014
A juvenile Glaucous Gull in the nearby harbour at Shoreham did the business, albeit briefly. It would have been a whole lot easier if the whole place wasn't fenced off and restricted access. Guess that's the way of the world these days though. Meanwhile, having started off at Dungeness in the morning, it was obvious that the massive gull influx of last weekend had subsided so all I came away with were a decent Great White Egret, a Black-throated Diver and a redhead Smew. Still, these were with little effort and that'd be a good day's birding in itself in a London context.
juvenile Glaucous Gull Shoreham harbour, West Sussex 11th Jan 2014
Today I stuck much more locally, and in the gloom mustered up a Kingfisher and a couple of Lesser Redpolls in Russia Dock Woodland while near the O2 I had an adult Yellow-legged Gull and a Rock Pipit on the foreshore.
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