Saturday, 8 August 2020

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull - Nailed!

It's taking a bit a longer than I'd hoped but I've finally nailed a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull on the patch this summer.

Whilst the bread-chucking Thames Larophiles have been enjoying these brutes for over a month now, us inland patch birders have had to bide our time. You would think being just a stones throw away from the Thames (4 miles in a straight line as the Gull flies) juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls would be easier to come by at Wanstead but despite hours of coverage there are usually only a couple of records each summer - which makes finding one amongst the semi-resident large Gull population that frequent Alexandra Lake taste just that little bit sweeter!

London, Wanstead

London, Wanstead

London, Wanstead

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Mothing

Those of you who follow my exploits on Twitter might have noticed a big upturn in tweets regarding Moths in the last few months! This is not a new passion but an old one that has re-surfaced again and was aided by being furloughed and locked-down for 3 months, which gave me the time and opportunity I've been missing for a few years (basically before the kids came along) to re-engage all things Lepidoptery - and I'm loving it!

The early morning starts have been a bit tougher since I've returned to work but the blood-shot eyes and lack of sleep is all worth it when you're rewarded with a new moth for the garden list - This currently stands on 128 for the year. In Moth terms it's not a particularly big total but it does go to show what's possible with a simple Skinner Moth Trap in a urban London garden with a little bit of sacrifice and effort.

Here are a few the highlights of the Marcos so far, nothing out of the ordinary but a good cross-section of Moths - If you're lucky I might even do another post with some of the Micros!

Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Bird's Wing
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Lime Hawk-Moth
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Pale Prominent
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Small Magpie
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Cypress Carpet
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Maiden's Blush
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Gypsy
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Oak Processionary
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Grey/Dark Dagger agg
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Oak Hook-tip
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Angle Shades
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Small Blood-vein
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Yellow Shell
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Tree-lichen Beauty
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Scalloped Oak
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Ruby Tiger
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Toadflax Brocade
Moths, Teammoth, Mothsmatter
Mother of Pearl


Saturday, 18 July 2020

July's gone Cuckoo!

As July patch birding at Wanstead goes today was almost off the scale! Ok - nothing hugely rare but adding three years ticks is virtually unheard off and this was mainly thanks to the efforts of Tim Harris who first picked out a Cetti's Warbler on Shoulder of Mutton lake - a bird new for this location and was probably overdue here as the habitat is perfect for one. This was quickly followed by Common Tern fishing in the same location, and just as I was leaving a message came through from Tim who had seen a Cuckoo on the Plain in Wanstead Park!

Cuckoo is still a very scarce bird at Wanstead even though just a short drive away in the Lee Valley, Ingrebourne Valley and Rainham Marshes they're a relatively common sight throughout the spring and summer months. I'd only ever seen one previous Cuckoo on the patch back in August 2013 so you can imagine my delight when I met up with Tim and bird he'd found was still on view - well sort off - it was deep in cover, low-down in a tree. It soon took flight across the Plain and again flew into more cover. Bob had now showed-up (In his slippers) but the bird wasn't playing ball, then after a 20 minute search I'd found it again, as it briefly perched-up and this time was staring right back at me! A quick shout to Bob but the bird had again flown across the Plain towards Perch Lake. It was now midday and I had to leave so I left Bob to try and find it again - thankfully he did soon after I'd left.

What a cracking bird and well worth the seven year wait!

Wanstead, London
7 Years in the waiting...a juvenile Cuckoo



Sunday, 5 July 2020

Not just any Juvenile Green Woodpecker

I was going to post these two photographs of a juvenile Green Woodpecker on Twitter. This may have been seen by a couple hundred people if i'm lucky, and then maybe liked, maybe retweeted and then all too quickly forgotten and lost amongst many thousands of wildlife photos posted every day - but no! I thought I'd add them to the blog and write a few lines about how much I like them - that's the beauty of blogging.

Why I do like the photographs? Well...it's not just the nice, low ground level and eye to eye contact of the subject, but the pose, the subtle head angle as the bird is alerted to my presence and the click of the camera. Then there's the background - not clean, but messy with a blurred depth of field, full of that golden colour of summer - uncut long dry grass, flowing gently in the early morning breeze - that's why I like these photographs and the reason I still blog!

London, Photography, Wanstead

London, Photography, Wanstead