Saturday, 18 April 2020

Lonely Turaco seen on Tinder!

It felt good to be out on the bike this morning, not only because of the exercise (I'm certainly fitter than I was at the start of lockdown 3 weeks ago) but because the overnight rain had dropped in a few common passage migrants on to the Flats. I've been careful in regards to not abusing my daily exercise allowance and have been sensibly limiting my time outside to a couple hours max, this was just long enough to mop up 2 Ring Ouzels, a wonderful singing Willow Warbler, a couple of Wheatears, a flyover Yellow Wagtail and both Common and Lesser Whitethroat - These were all new for the year and only goes to prove how little patch birding I've done during the lockdown period.

As I was leaving I bumped to an old Wanstead favourite - The lonely White-cheeked Turaco!
This magnificent (if slightly gaudy) creature has now been knocking around Wanstead for what must be the best part of 10 years. Despite it's size and colourful iridescent plumage, including striking red wings when seen in flight, it's surprisingly difficult to see and is often just heard singing and calling without revealing itself.

The Turaco appeared to be carrying nesting material (well it is spring) and unless there's another escapee near by then sadly this effort is all going to be in vain, but I suppose you can't stop nature's natural urge to procreate - It's all a bit odd, but it's what you come to expect from a slightly mad Turaco that believes Wanstead is a juniper forest in Ethiopia!

Wanstead, London, Escape
White-cheeked Turaco looking for love! 
Wanstead, London, Escape
The unmistakeable blaze of red in the wing


  1. I saw this bird outside St.Gabriels hall last week! Does anyone know if it found a mate? He was sat on a low hanging branch and looked at me for quite some time before flying off.

  2. Unfortunately this Turaco will probably see out its days alone. There are other escapes in the UK but the chances of two meeting are very remote!