A decent Day, by London birding standards.

The London Bird Wiki page said that Sean Huggins had had  a good day at Creekmouth with an Adult Caspian and a possible Siberian Chiffchaff as the highlights, so the following Day Dante and I headed down to try and mop up that lot and any extras. The, presumed same Siberian Chiffchaff was one of the first birds I got my bins on properly and showed well on our first encounter. It was amoung 25+ Collybita Chiffchaffs.


Looking different in all lighting conditions as per: monotone and brown in the bright light and nice and contrasty with all the right tones in the right paces in the flatter dull light. (rusty ear coverts, green in the retrices and remiges , nice grey neck sides etc) the left hand ear coverts starting to moult and some body moult perhaps too on the left flank, this would be a little early but a decent indicator of Tristis which delay their moult until early spring. I didnt definitely hear it call, but will probably see it again and who knows, a bit of sun might coax some song out of it)


Next stop was abit of a fence hopper near Gallions Reach and an unexpected pinging in the reeds was of course the below Male Bearded Tit.  Great bird.


A last chance saloon check of the O2 and Thames Barrier park was made.  Very few large gulls at all and as I scanned the birds towards the shore Dante casually says “Adult Ring-Billed Gull” and there it was 4 metres in front of us among the common and black headed gulls!



After 15 mins of it just sitting in front of us and some brief flying about it flew east never to be seen again. It has quite a unique primary pattern so perhaps will be picked up again. However from tweets and correspondance from people along the south coast there is a movement of Common Gulls eastwards currently so perhaps is caught up in that.

A very Scarce bird in the South East of England and glad for Dante for finding. A decent day for finds and another weekend with scarce birds involved in london, 2018 going nicely so far.


Author: Jamie Partridge

Birding South East Kent: Langdon Hole to South Foreland

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