Youth and Movement

 

With it being the middle of August, I have started walking around the Lockwood before work. So far the only notable migrants being many Willow , and a couple of  Garden Warblers, a few Yellow Wags this morning and a trickle of Swifts.  Although AW had a Spotted Flycatcher in the Water works and Twitter tells me that PW has just found a Pied there too.

Yesterday whilst scanning the Bomb crater field for a returning Whinchat, One of three Juvenile Kestrels landed on the fence two meters in front me.

 

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After blasting it with the camera I spent five or so minutes sat down, watching it through bins. It felt good, quite a memorable bit of birding I guess.

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A deranged dog eventually flushed it.  

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Willow Warbler

Thames Juvenile Yellow-Legged Gulls

 

 

An evening walk with Amy along the thames, from the O2 eastwards, with Juv YLGs on my mind and mudlarking on hers, was fruitful for both.

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The right-hand bird is a brute, classic (probably male), it was joined by the nice contrasty bird on the left, which, although smaller, shares the features i look for in a Yellow-Leg, although I didnt see the open wing or tail pattern. The tertials have a slight notching to them, which is acceptable and well within range for Michahellis and this patterning is limited to the tips.

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Evening light looked great but ruined this photo in a way… Such a great tail pattern. I also noted a pair of Oystercatchers and a single common sandpiper along the water’s edge.

Juvenile Yellow-Legged Gulls, Eastbourne

 

It was booked weeks before, and much looked forward to. A trip to Visit Friend Laurence P on the south coast in an attempt to find some of the first arriving juvenile Yellow-Legged Gulls on the year.

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Our first site drew a blank, but a small boating lake within Princes Park, Eastbourne was host to this beast.  Presumably a Male, the bird gave incredibly close views and we got through two loaves of mighty white pretty quickly.

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The bird was quite worn on the tertials, most scaps and the tail, which seemed to be slightly stuck together, perhaps a substance picked up on route from the Med, as a ringed bird in the same place a few years back from Perpignan would suggest.

The following day we returned to the same spot to find a different bird. Smaller, slightly less worn and just as generous with its proximity.

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Common Rosefinch! Walthamstow Marsh

 

On approaching the underpass along the main path of Walthamstow Marsh I heard a distant; sweet and bright dysllabic whistle, unfamiliar in a patch context but defiantly totally arresting.  My thinking was it sounded like a Rosefinch,  having only heard one sing a few weeks before at Dungeness it was fresh in my mind but this wasnt full song and without seeing the bird I was reluctant to blast out a hasty “just found a..” tweet. There is little high ground and i couldn’t see the bird at all which had gone silent for a while but began to sing again after 15 minutes or so and I eventually clapped eyes on it. An adult Male Rosefinch! 

 

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  With nine previous records its a good bird for London. Many people seem to have come to see, and hear it and I’m very pleased to have eventually found a (much more) twitchable bird on the patch.

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