Naturelog: 1st February

A west London trip, primarily to catch up with the American Horned Lark which has been seen at Staines on and off over the winter. It was a blustery, wind-swept reservoir that greeted me as I made my way along the causeway between the Southern and Northern basins. Due to the wind there was little to be seen and the birds were clearly sheltering from the wind.

The Lark was feeding in the vegetation and was not difficult to find with the group of birdwatchers admiring it. But seeing it was something else as it made its way through the vegetation with only it’s head occasionally visible. Eventually, it disappeared and most people wandered off. I decided that instead of going back along the causeway I would walk down the sheltered west side of the reservoir. As I made my way along I saw a small bird not 30 foot from the path out on open grassland and had 10 minutes observing the Lark clearly before it flew off along the edge of the reservoir.

With a couple of hours left I dropped into the London wetland centre in the afternoon. The usual winter visitors were present but I didn’t get to see any of the specialities (Eurasian Bittern, Jack Snipe).

Lapwing and Gadwall

The best sighting was on the playing fields as I left when a large flock of Thrushes could be seen feeding amongst the Canada Geese. These were predominantly Redwing but also a single Fieldfare and Mistle Thrush.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Horned Lark [sp] (Eremophila alpestris)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

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