South End Mediterranean Gulls

 

Today the ‘East London Gulls’ Lads and I took a trip to Southend and Gunners park in the hope of seeing an early Juvenile Mediterranean Gull. Perhaps abit early Although apparently some of the Minsmere Juvs are flying about now. We made do with around 15 individuals coming to bread and allowing some flight shots. I love all ages of these Gulls but a fully hooded second summer really gets my juices flowing…

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Basel, Switzerland

 

 

Two weeks away with work in the small land locked city of Basel in Switzerland. Not that the job allowed me much free time but the time I had was spent in the nearby park and local Nature Reserve.

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Like many other cities on the continent the streets are full of Singing Black Redstarts and the parks are packed with other birds that over here we associate with specific rural habitats; Common Redstarts, Spotted Flycatchers, Fire Crests, and even Hawfinch were present and seemed to be breeding, (see juvs recorded and photographed below)  in a small urban park, as well as White StorksBlack Kites and Alpine Swifts flying Low over the Town.

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25 mins from my Apartment by Bus was Le Petite Camargue de la Alsacienne. A reserve roughly the size of Walthamstow Reservoirs, highlights at this site included, Squacco Heron (unusual for the area) Purple Heron, Great Egrets, Western Bonelli’s Warblers , more Hawfinches, Wrynecks, Lesser Spotted Wood peckers... (Black, Middle and Grey Headed can be seen here but I had no luck with them)

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Nightingales, Marsh Warblers and Golden Orioles were the main birds still in song…

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Red-Back Shrikes were well represented and a few Pairs were present in front of one of the hides.

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A really great city and also home to many more common migrant birds. I also encountered Wild Boar piglets, many Red Squirrel and a friend told me of a Pine Marten crossing a suburban street!  No doubt I will return next year for work so will aim for the Woodpeckers again and try to get some good Alpine Swift Photos. Such great birds to watch whilst sinking some large euro beers with your feet in the Rhine!

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June Iceland!

No sooner had a drafted I dull summer time blog post, a final day out on the Thames (before 2 weeks away with work) and I pick up a 1st summer Iceland Gull at Thames Barrier park!  Just over a year since the last one in the area that Rich B found on the beach at the O2 April 2016.  The bird flew westward and we lost it, despite our ziggzagging across the Thames in a attempt to refind it in the usual gathering spots.

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There were 4 different 2nd summer Yellow Legged Gulls between the Cable car and the beach at the O2, heres 2 of them.

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AND HERE’S THE DRAFTED EARLY JUNE POST….zzz

So June is here and things are, as expected, pretty quiet across the patches.  Rich had a nice new 2cy Caspian Gull at the O2 the other day and there are still some Yellow legged Gulls around on the river. Walthamstow is proving good for taking pics of juvenile wagtails and starlings and thats about it. The Common terns are paired up on a couple of the rafts, good numbers of Little Egrets seemed to be breeding and I’ve seen Swallows around recently which are probably the riding stables pair, fingers crossed.

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The next post you read will probably be about Juvenile Yellow Legged Gulls. I will be out looking in the last week of June and first of July Looking for the country’s first continental birds. Here’s a post from Eastbourne last July to help get your eye in.

For now however, here’s one of a local and familiar Thames YLGs, been around since last October and is a real looker in my opinion. regulars to this blog (if such a thing exists) will probably recognise the bird. (why not comment if you do… or be damned if you dont!)

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