Saturday, 10 January 2009

10 January 2009

There was freezing fog this morning, but I still decided to go and check my patch by the Thames, as hopefully there would be something interesting, and there was! On the way there, I saw a good flock of finches (with 1 blue tit) in trees alongside Frank Banfield Park, and 9 starlings on one TV aerial.
The tide was low, starting to come back up, and there were lots of birds:
  • black-headed gull: surprisingly few by Hammersmith Bridge, numbers picked up along but nothing extraordinary
  • mallard: 68
  • gadwall: 27
  • teal: 108
  • tufted duck: 71
  • cormorant: 1 was fishing in the shallows and 1 on the shore by HB, 2 by the pontoon (1 in breeding plumage)
  • common gull: 2<
  • great black-backed gull: the usual adult pair
  • lesser black-backed gull: 1 very streaky adult
  • herring gull: 1 adult
  • moorhen: 1
  • shelduck: 1 in the same spot as last time, but on its lonesome
  • starling: a small flock of about 20
  • snipe: 2 or 3, a first for me here! (apparently 33 of them were counted at the Wetland Centre today). 2 of them were not far from the pontoon, I saw one fly away towards the Wetland Centre and disappear in the fog, and the other fly away 'inland'. I saw a 3rd one on my way back, but I can't say whether it was a new one or one of the other 2

The fog was so dense at times that I couldn't see the other side of the river, as exemplified on this photo; in normal times, you would see Harrods Repository in the background:

Later in the morning, I was entering Margravine Cemetery when I heard and then saw an angry wren. I quickly saw the reason why, a cat, which was not showing any interest in it, nor in the pigeons 2 meters away, all it wanted was cuddles... It almost followed me home, I know someone who would have liked that! ;)
No sign of the peregrines all day, after only a very brief appearance yesterday. Not I that blame them, since most of their perches are made of metal, they must be fairly frozen...

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