Monday, 24 August 2009

Patch walk

On Saturday morning I went for a 2h15 walk around my patch as it would be almost low tide.
But, first, I'll give an update on the moorhens. Well, one of them was on the nest, but the nest is now so built up that there is barely any room left for the incubating bird. They were now on day 12 to 14, so there should be 7-10 days left.
It was a nice morning, if a bit chilly at first.
In Frank Banfield Park, which is one of the 'parks' in the borough that have received the Green Flag Award, for the second week in a row I heard a wagtail and found 1 adult Pied Wagtail with 4 juveniles:

I also hear a Great Spotted Woodpecker calling, the first time ever there. I guess all this is a sign that last year's redevelopment was not such a bad thing, but I would be a lot happier if I could see and hear more Sparrows there. I wonder if the new ones I have been finding lately on the Thames Path are migrants from that group.

By Hammersmith Bridge, once again, there were lots of Startlings, they were flying between the bridge and the shore, some were bathing, other were feeding. Further along, I stood for a while observing a little group 'playing turnstone' and picking up small shellfish (I initially thought these might be baby mussels, but after finding those clams by Putney Bridge, I am not so sure anymore). It was amazing how they were opening their beak in order to overturn the stones, so I thought I'd try and film them. Unfortunately, they took fright when they heard me. I managed however to take this photo of a group that had similarly been spooked by something (but not me, honest) by Crabtree Wharf. It is nice to see them in good numbers.

I counted over 200 Black Headed Gulls, 52 Mallards, 43 Canada Geese (including one of the regular ones, white UVY), 1 Egyptian Goose, 16 Cormorants, 1 Grey Heron, Crows, Ring Necked Parakeets.
I also had the first Teals of the summer, with 3 females, a sure sign it is coming to an and, and 1 lonely female Tufted Duck.

Big gull wise, I saw 1 Great Black Backed fly over, a few Herring Gulls, at least 4 adults and 1 sub adult, and Lesser Black Backed, again at least 4 adults, 1 first summer and one juvenile. That juvenile was begging from one of its parents

and begging again, and again, and again...

Lots of young gulls of various ages, but I am still rather baffled by them so I won't venture too categorically, Still, I think this is a second summer Lesser Black Backed, which I somehow find quite attractive:

Finally, I found House Sparrows in 2 spots, both groups with a few youngsters. It is unfortunately difficult to count them precisely, but there were at least a dozen in the second group. I was trying to take photos of them which was easier said than done as they were hiding in a bush:

when I noticed this gorgeous long haired cat. Either they know it and know they have nothing to fear, or they hadn't seen it, since none were alarm calling, not even the robin also in the same bush.

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