Sunday, 4 January 2015

Early January local birding

This time of year's always one where people are out and about, either trying to start their year list off or just making the most of the extended time off work (and away from Christmas time constraints). It was pretty much the latter for me, as gone are those decent New Year days - they've varied from North Wales to Kent, Norfolk, Kuwait, Thailand and California. This year, although I was in Finland, my New Year's Day tally was confined to about five species! So, while everyone else was having fun in Yorkshire looking at a Little Bustard, I was travelling back cattle class with Ryanair.
adult Mediterranean Gull Burgess Park 2nd January 2015
On 2nd January, I headed out locally - mistimed the tide at Crossness so was left with a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls and a flyover Rock Pipit. Cutting my losses and letting John A get on with things there, I headed back towards Central London where the adult Mediterranean Gull was again in Burgess Park and enjoying the yeast feast I put out for it. Pecking at my feet too, were the copious numbers of Egyptian Geese; plague-like is their increase compared to just a couple of years ago with 26 about in the park.
Kingfisher Russia Dock Woodland 2nd January 2015
A few circuits of Rotherhithe over the last three days have produced 37 species - lacking so far in any quality, with a Kingfisher in Russia Dock Woodland and 23 Shoveler in Southwark Park the highlights. With only a few predictable winter species left to see in this urban abyss, I'll keep grafting away but am already looking forward to the first signs of spring...

For something different, and a quick trip north of the river, I headed to Wanstead Park to see the Slavonian Grebe that was nicely found by Nick C yesterday. Despite the hope that it was showing well, it wasn't too great and I didn't really take any shots of it. A brilliant find, and a species that I can imagine at some stage getting here in Rotherhithe with rather a lot of luck.

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