Archive for January, 2013

January Patch round-up

Posted: January 31, 2013 in Birds, Natural History

species seen on my patch in January: 32

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Windy Greenwich Peninsular

Posted: January 29, 2013 in Birds, Natural History

Spent the morning at home working and was rewarded with views of the Nuthatch in its usual trees.

Decided to go and visit the small nature reserve on the Greenwich Peninsular as I hadn’t yet been in 2013 and there had been a firecrest seen there a few days before.

Stopped at Tarn on the way

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser) 5
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis) 5
Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata) 1 Escape, Photograph, Video footage
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) 6
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus) 2
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra) 6
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 4
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia) 16
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus) 1
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula) 2
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone) 3
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus) 1
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea) 1

Early evening meeting in London so decide to spend the day birding the Parks. Still trying to catch up with Fieldfare. There have been plenty around but well cant seem to be in the same place at the same time.

So first to the Tarn on the way to the station. Rather quiet

Tarn Park

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis) 3
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos) 1
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) 1
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 6
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia) 32
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus) 3
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri) 12
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus) 1

And so to central London and first stop Hyde Park




Did waterfowl count on Serpentine / Longwater and stopped to see the Bearded Reedlings again

Hyde Park

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser) 43
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis) 88
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) 16
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca) 5
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos) 22
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) 10
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) 1 Unknown origin 1 Adult Male
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) 6
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) 35
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus) 1
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea) 3
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus) 11
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra) 59
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) c.300
Common Gull (Larus canus canus) 1
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus) 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus) 2
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia) 50
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus) 12
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri) 2
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis) 1
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica) 2
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone) 6
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major) 1
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus) 7
Bearded Reedling [sp] (Panurus biarmicus) 2 2 Adult Females
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus) 1
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula) 2
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula) 2

Weather worsening so decide to head straight for the Rail site in Regents Park. I had to wait about 20 minutes but was rewarded with excellent views for about 10 minutes. Distant view of Shellduck which has been present for some days



Regents Park

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser) 25
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis) 133
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) 3
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca) 10
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) 1
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos) 41
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) 12
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) 3 Bird Collection
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) 10
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) 65
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea) 4
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo) 5
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus) 1
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus) 3
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra) 164
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) c.150
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus) 1
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia) 3
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius) 2
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica) 10
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone) 6

Day List 33 species

A quick birdwatch

Posted: January 27, 2013 in Birds, Natural History


Just a quick watch of the Garden today plus a brief look at the Tarn (which was very quiet). The Heron was back in residence and I had two Mistle Thrushes in the Garden, the highest count since the beginning of the year

Big Garden Birdwatch 2013

Posted: January 26, 2013 in Birds, Natural History

Is it just me or does it happen to everyone. No matter what has shown up in the days before the birdwatch day, it is conspicuously absent during the count. I was struggling for Magpie and Jay, 2 of the commoner birds in the garden until the closing minutes. Maybe they do it just to wind me up! Having said that the female Greater Spotted Woodpecker made an appearance together with a Collared Dove which is not common in garden. There was also an unusually high number of crows altogether in one tree.

Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos) 24
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 2
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia) 24
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus) 3
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto) 1
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri) 6
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major) 1 Adult Female
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica) 4
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone) 29
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus) 3
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris) 1
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris) 1

Note: Its not just me! – Ian Stewart was complaining of the same Big Garden Birdwatch curse on London Bird Wiki

Then it was gone!

Posted: January 23, 2013 in Birds, Natural History

Morning meeting. On way home took the opportunity to do waterfowl count on Tarn. Flushed Kingfisher from north bank of Tarn. It flew towards Islands and was lost to view. Was unable to relocate it perched on Island or on other previous perching points.

Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata) 1 Escape
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos) 30
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) 2 2 Adult Females
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra) 2
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 1
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia) 4
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus) 6
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri) 6
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis) 1
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica) 2
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone) 2
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus) 2

A frozen Regents Park

Posted: January 22, 2013 in Birds, Natural History

Working at home in the morning. There is quite a bit of activity in the Garden. Unusual sighting as a Great Cormorant flies low over garden perhaps aiming for the Tarn. Not seen on Tarn from Court Rd when viewing on way to Rail station. Have a late afternoon meeting in Central London so decide to go in early and visit Regents Park. The Lake is frozen and birds are concentrated in a few areas of open water. Relatively quiet with few non-waterfowl to be found. No sign of water rail in reed-bed opposite boathouse café where it has been seen regularly recently.





The Tarn
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos) 20
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo) 1
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus) 1
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra) 2
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 1
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia) 15
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus) 3
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri) 4
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius) 1
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica) 1
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone) 1
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus) 1
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris) 1
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula) 3
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus) 1

Regents Park
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser) 39
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis) 98
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) 6
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca) 2
Gadwall (Anas strepera) 6
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos) 15
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) 4
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) 12
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) 50
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea) 14
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra) 106
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) c.250
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus) 2
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia) c.220
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus) 5
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri) 6
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone) 11
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus) 2

A Sparrowhawk comes to call

Posted: January 21, 2013 in Birds, Natural History

At Home all day. The snow has stopped and it is becoming brighter as the day goes on. A bit more activity in the garden today and mid-morning a Sparrowhawk flies over. Probably one of those that are sometimes seen traveling between the grounds of Eltham Palace and the Golf club. Occasionally see it distantly from my study window, but rarely does it come down this way. Must be looking for new feeding sites in the snow covered landscape.

A Snowy Garden

Posted: January 20, 2013 in Natural History





A hatfull of Jackdaws

Posted: January 10, 2013 in Birds, Natural History

Working at home today but had a party of 10 Jackdaws fly over.
We dont seem to get a lot of Jackdaws around here. Occasionally we get the odd one passing through but a party of 10 is really exceptional