Friday, 26 December 2008

26 December 2008

Usually, I spend Christmas in Normandy, and it is the tradition that, with my parents, we go to the beach (one of the D-Day landing ones) on the 26th, come rain and/or wind. As I am spending it in London this year, I decided to have a walk by the Thames as a sea-shore replacement, not quite the same but it would have to do! It was a lovely day for it, with clear blue sky.
Both peregrines arrived as I was passing by but I left them to whatever they were doing this time. However, as I was in Frank Banfield Park looking at a small flock of goldfinches and chaffinches, I noticed a group of black-headed gulls headed towards central London. A few minutes later I spotted this group or another one flying real fast, I don't think I've seen some flying so fast before (though to be fair they were with the wind), they were followed by a peregrine :) It quickly gave up though and went back to its mate.
Tide was coming in, but still quite low, so numbers were pretty good for some.

  • black-heade gull: 131 by Hammersmith Bridge, then at least 175
  • lesser black-backed gull: 3 adults
  • great black-backed gull: 2 adults
  • herring gull: 1 adult and some younger ones
  • common gull: 2
  • mallard: 74
  • a pigeon collecting twigs on a the shore
  • cormorant: 4
  • some starlings
  • teal: 49
  • tufted duck: 8
  • gadwall: 2
  • pied wagtail: 1 juvenile
  • moorhen
  • sparrows: heard in their usual bush
This black-headed gull still or already has an almost black head, when all the others still 'have their headphones on':
It was sunny, nicely lighting up this teal. Notice also how clear the water is:
More photos in my Thames Path album (bottom of page and following one)

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