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.
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.
A deranged dog eventually flushed it.
Another Walk out into the Thames Estuary hoping for more juvenile gulls. This lovely med played ball on Canvey Island.
A few adults were lurking about too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.