Posts Tagged ‘Common Gull’

On a cold chilly and somewhat damp morning, Keith and I made our way to east London to investigate the newly opened Walthamstow Wetlands nature reserve. Although Walthamstow Reservoirs (as it was previously known) has been accessible to birdwatchers for a number of years (by permit), the changes in water management has led to a new approach which has opened up the site to the public for more recreational use with the creation of footpaths and the conversion of the old engine house into a visitors centre and cafe. From here we had good views of a Red Fox.

Old Engine House, now the visitor centre

Red Fox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many circular walks and Keith and I headed off to the two reservoirs known as East and West Warwick. Her we found a number of species of gulls and duck. As we walked along the side of West Warwick a female Goosander took to the air and flew off towards the visitor centre.  Returning to East Warwick 30 minutes or so later we found that, or maybe a second, female Goosander present.

Common Gull

Goosander (f)

 

From the elevated reservoir path, we also saw a pair of Europen Stonechat and witnessed a tussle between a Kestrel and a magpie who both wanted the same perch.

Kestrel and Magpie dispute post

Stonechat

 

Crossing the Coppermill stream, past Coppermill Tower, which when open will give views of the entire reserve, we were surprised to see a Mallard with 13 small chicks, which could not have been more than a week or two old. Very late breeding – Witness once again to the mild autumn that we have had in London.

Coppermill Tower

Mallard with young

 

 

 

 

 

Making our way back to the visitor centre between No5 and No 2 reservoirs we found a female Goldeneye on No 5 and a number of Great Crested Grebe on No 2. By now the rain had begun to settle in for the afternoon and so after a warming cup of tea, we decided to forgo a walk around the northern section of the reserve which contains a further two large reservoirs and head for the station and home.

Great Crested Grebe

Goldeneye (f)

 

A wonderful introduction to a new jewel in Londons natural habitat, I expect it will not be long before we return.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Common Merganser [sp] (Mergus merganser)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)

Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

 

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Later in the day, I went to our local nature reserve at Sutcliffe Park. It was a bright sunny frosty day. There was little to see in the marsh area, other than a couple of Moorhens, but the partially frozen lake was busy with a group of Canada Geese along with 2 Mute Swans, a flock of Mallard and some Coot. Both Black-headed and Common Gulls were also present.

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Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mallard (m)

Mallard (m)

Black-headed and Common Gulls

Black-headed and Common Gulls

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alongside the lake, a group of House Sparrow moved through the vegetation. Once numerous and the commonest garden bird in London they are now just recovering from a calamitous decline which saw them become a rarity. This is still the only place in my patch where they are regularly found.

 

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

 

Keith and I had intended going to the London wetland centre, but following a brief discussion when we met up in central London, we diverted to Kensington Gardens to look for the 1st winter drake Scaup that has been there for a week or so.

Arriving at round pond it did not take us long to identify the bird which stood out from the resident Tufted Duck by its larger rounded head and a clear patch of its emerging adult silver back showing through its juvenile plumage. It stayed well out into the centre of the pond. Satisfied we wandered off to take some photos of nearby Kensington Palace and when we returned we could not relocate it. We later learned that it does move around between the pond and the Serpentine so we counted ourselves lucky that we had found it here as locating it on the much larger Serpentine would have been more difficult.

!st winter drake Scaup

1st winter drake Scaup

There were a good number of Common Gulls present and a large flock of over 60 Eygptian Geese

Common Gull

Common Gull

Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Geese

Our next target was to see if we could find one of the local Tawny Owls roosting in the trees. I had been told the general area to look but we hunted without success. We did find a small party of Redwing feeding on the ground.

Redwing

Redwing

We decided that the cold was beginning to bite and we would head to the cafe by the Serpentine for a coffee. On the way we came across Paul one of the regular local birders, who kindly offered to show us the Owl’s roost tree. So we set off again back the way we had come and soon found the spot and there sure enough was the male bird sitting on his usual roost branch. Its easy when you know where to look!

Tawny Owl

Tawny Owl

Tawny Owl

Tawny Owl

Well in all the excitement we had forgotten about Coffee but after sometime watching and photographing the Owl we headed back to the Serpentine and that hot drink. After lunch we walked north up the side of the Serpentine and added a number of common species to our list and found lots of opportunity for photography.

The Serpentine, Hyde Park

The Serpentine, Hyde Park

When we reached Notting Hill the weather and the light had deteriorated but we decided to use what was left of the day by visiting Regent’s Park.

Regents Park

Regents Park

We did not add much to our list in the fading light but we had some nice views of some of the feral birds that breed here including Mandarin Duck and Red-Crested Pochard.

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

An excellent days birding and our big thanks to Paul for his assistance in finding the Tawny Owl.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Greater Scaup [sp] (Aythya marila)
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)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mew Gull [sp] (Larus canus)
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)
Tawny Owl [sp] (Strix aluco)
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)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)