Saturday, 18 August 2018

Yellow-legged Gull saves the Day

The patch failed to live up to expectations this morning, with just four flyover Yellow Wagtails being the only passage migrant movement of any note, the rest of the Flats appeared eerily quiet! Only time will tell if the extensive grass fire damage will have any impact this autumn on our expected passage migrants, but the early signs don't appear to be very good with pockets of Blackberry and Elderberry largely decimated by the fire and the expected Sylvia Warblers which feed on these berries being few and far between. It's only mid-August so hopefully I'm wrong and we'll be tripping over migrants in the coming weeks.

The only other bird of note was a Yellow-legged Gull. This has been knocking around Alexandra Lake since last weekend and was a welcome year tick (97). The bird appears to be in heavy moult with several secondaries missing, which might explain why it's stuck around for a while.

Gulls, Larids, London

Gulls, Larids, London

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Urban Godwit

I know a few birders who have gone to the beautiful country of Iceland in spring/summer in the hope of photographing waders at close quarters in their summer/breeding plumage, spending many hours and hundreds of pounds (Krona) in the process to get that perfect image...I say nah! Why bother? Just wait for a summer plumage Black-tailed Godwit to show up on your local urban lake. Hopefully the lake will be littered with floating beer cans and all kinds of litter left by the general ignorant public just to add to the glamour and it'll not only save you a load of time and money but I promise you it will also be a lot more satisfying!

Today Jono found this absolute beauty of a bird parading around the edge of Alexandra Lake - a big fat patch tick for the pair of us. Much to my amazement and unlike any other wader I've seen on the lake it wasn't skittish and it didn't fly off at the first sign of anybody, it just happily fed on the receding waterline - amazing.

It's been a quiet summer for me on the birding front (the hot weather has spiralled my social calendar) but this has certainly kicked started August superbly and with the June/July doldrums know out of the way...could this be the start of a magical autumn on the patch?