Tuesday, 27 October 2015

From Norway with love

I've just received the recovery data on this Common Gull I saw on Wanstead Flats at the weekend, and it was aged as 3rd calendar year male and ringed on August 1st 2015 in Randaberg, Rogaland, Norway.

This bird presumably summered in southern Norway (most likely destination of where it originally fledged as a juvenile) before following a typical pattern for these birds of crossing the North Sea in the autumn - travelling over 900km to spend its winter in the UK, before making the return journey in the spring to breed as an adult - I'm no laraphile but I've definitely got a new found appreciation for these noisey chip stealers who for too long have had a bad press.

Colour Ringed, Ringing, Gulls
Common Gull (J8M4)
900km from Rogaland, Norway to Wanstead Flats

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Patch Milestone

In recent weeks the patch hasn't lived up to autumn expectations and I've struggled to record anything of note - I was beginning to worry that my target of a century of birds on the patch in a year would fall short again, especially as my time spent birding is always at a premium. But today that target was finally achieved, and what better autumn bird than a Ring Ouzel to reach that milestone with.

The all important list: Wanstead 2015

Along with the Ring Ouzel it was an excellent morning to witness a big arrival of winter Thrushes with c500 Redwing and c300 Fieldfare counted. There were also good numbers of Chaffinch going through, and Robins and Goldcrests seemed to be popping out of every bit of cover - Wanstead may not be in the same league as our birding havens along the east coast, but for an inland urban site it certainly delivers enough quality to ensure regular visits are ultimately rewarded. 

As a non-local who needs more than just leg power to get to Wanstead, I've often questioned my loyalty to the patch when I could be elsewhere birding, but to finally see 100 species of birds in a calendar year proves to myself that my efforts are worthwhile, and for all those blank weekends when I get frustrated with not seeing a great deal, days like today more than make amends - here's to 101 and next weekend...

Wanstead, autumn, male