Saturday, 16 January 2010

Snow on the foreshore

I made a quick visit to the Thames on Sunday (10th) and ended up in the same quandary as with the Lapwings, with Shovelers. At Crabtree Wharf I could see at least 3 in the 'pools' south of my patch. I waited a while but none came closer, once again I decided to mull it over.
I had no intention to go to the river again on Monday but, after running some errands, decided to make a detour. I was by the 'wasteland' observing a Lapwing on the shore by Hammersmith Bridge when I heard 'tweep tweep'. I didn't take me long to locate a Chiffchaff in one of these bushes that grows on the wall of the Thames. Kerching, #47. With Goldcrest and Blackcap this winter, these bushes and small trees along the path are proving to be a semi goldmine. It didn't last long, people walked by and it left. I went back towards Crabtree Wharf, it felt relatively mild that afternoon, but you never know. Once again, there were Shovelers just outside my patch, but getting closer. I would still check by the Wharf, and who just landed in the water? a pair of Shovelers! re-kerching, #48 and a patch tick. They were gone before I had finished noting it down, it was a case of "blink and you'll miss it!".

Having checked tide times this time, I had decided to go by the Thames early on Wednesday (13th). When I got up and saw the blanket of snow, I almost didn't go out, but I love snow, I love the cold and so I decided to brave it. It was still snowing by the time I got to Crabtree Wharf, and the tide having been down for a while, even the foreshore had a blanket of snow.
View to the South:
View to the North (you can just about make out Hammersmith Bridge in the distance):

snowAs I mentioned previously, part of the Thames Path is closed:

Very few birds around, sunrise had only just been, but some were starting to arrive, like this Grey Heron.

heronor this Gadwall, who didn't seem too bothered by the snow on its back:

gadwallor these Egyptian Geese (4 in total), a somewhat incongruous sight in the snow, but it didn't seem to bother them really:

egyptian geese
or this Fieldfare, briefly on the foreshore:

fieldfareBy Hammersmith Bridge, more snow on the foreshore, and some Teals and Mallards, feeding as they usually do at the edge of the water:

Hammersmith Bridge
and a Shoveler! There were 3 of them, this male and a pair closer to the bridge.

shovelerFor a moment, it followed the Teals, but then broke off and continued on its way.

shovelerI went home.

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