Posts Tagged ‘East India Dock’

The morning started well with a pair of Song Thrushes in the garden. Thrush species other than Blackbird are winter visitors to the garden but with the mild weather we have had this winter they have been absent until now.

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After a morning meeting I dropped into East India Dock Nature reserve. The nature reserve is the original entrance basin from the Thames into the East India dock complex (now all redeveloped as housing). There were good numbers of Eurasian Teal, Shelduck, Great Cormorant and Tufted Duck which are all common here. Still a pleasant place to spend an hour at lunchtime.

Coot

Coot

Eurasian Teal

Eurasian Teal

Shelduck

Shelduck

Cormorants

Cormorants

These little nature reserves provide an oasis of peace, beauty and tranquillity in the midst of the bustle of city life.

Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull [sp] (Larus canus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
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 Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)

Decided to visit some of my local sites on the River Thames to see if there was any sign of migration. My first stop was East India Dock.

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The chances of seeing anything did not seem high as there was a very strong wind blowing down the river. This is an excellent local site for Shellduck and there were 6 present on this occasion. One male was being extremely aggressive and chasing all comers around the basin if they got too close. He almost drowned a poor Coot when he landed on top of him – The Shellduck is probably about 6 times the weight and size of a Coot but the Coot managed to extricate himself and escape. Apart from this there were small groups of Teal and Tufted Duck, but no waders. I learned later in the morning that a half hour before I arrived a Little Ringed Plover (a rare summer migrant and breeder in London) had been present on the islands.

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

Magpie

Magpie

Common Pigeon

Common Pigeon

On then to the Greenwich Peninsular and a visit to the Ecology Park. Like East India it seemed pretty quiet with only the resident birds present. There were no early butterflies to be seen probably because of the high wind and consequent cool temperatures. But great to hear all the bird song.

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Coot

Coot

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

Back home the Green Woodpecker could be heard calling. I haven’t seen him yet but he has been heard most days this week.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
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)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
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)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

White-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lucorum)

The break in the stormy weather was holding and so I decided to go and visit some small sites that are reasonably local to home. The first stop is Great Bartlett Woods which is a lovely peaceful place, a remnant of the old woodlands which once covered this area of SE London. Amazingly though it is only a couple of hundred yards from Plumsted High St!

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Its a great peace of woodland, but the main reason for choosing it today is that a Firecrest (a rare but regular winter visitor) has been seen here earlier in the week. An hours watching does not locate it but I do get a good selection of woodland birds including a pair of Greater Spotted woodpeckers displaying with the male drumming.

On then to East India Dock. This is an old dock basin on the Thames which is mow managed as a tidal mudflat. There are good numbers of Shellduck plus Tufted, Mallard and Teal. A Sparrowhawk flies over but there is no sign of the Peregrines that use the O2 dome, on the opposite bank, as home.

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The final stop is Brookmill Park, along the River Ravensbourne, in Lewisham. This is the best site I know in SE London for Kingfisher and I am not disappointed as one flews down river almost as soon as I arrive. Immediately another bird catches my eye and a Grey Wagtail lands on the river’s edge before flying off again. The other bird that you can almost guarentee here is the resident drake Mandarin which today is on the River rather than the pond where I have seen it before.

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A good return for a few hours birdwatching. I had intended to visit the Tarn afterwards as I had noticed that the access gates were open the day before but when I arrived they were once again closed so not sure what is happening there [As I write this Friday morning, we have had a lot of heavy rain over night and I went past the Tarn first thing this morning and the flooding is even greater than it was before. One whole section is now under water so I am guessing it will some time before we will be allowed to gain access]

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
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)
Mew Gull [sp] (Larus canus)
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)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)