Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A6LK still there and a pigeon

This week, the Herring Gull with ring A6LK was at the supermarket again.  Here it is with a friend.

I am still learning about gulls, but, somehow, it looks like a female to me, some je-ne-sais-quoi... One thing for sure, next to the other one, some of its feathers are well worn out, but it appears moulting may have started as some others appear brand new.

There was another ringed bird on the wharf today. I don't know if it was lost and was just resting, it stuck like a sore thumb among the feral pigeons and was not really interacting with them. There is a white pigeon in that flock but, even at a distance, I could tell it was different. Closer, I could see it has a green ring on one of its legs, but I couldn't read it.

I have tried to find out what breed it is, without success, but I have to say this is a pretty little thing compared to a lot of those fancy pigeons I have just had to look at during my search...

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Very low tide

Yesterday early morning, I stopped by the Thames at Crabtree Wharf on my way to the allotment and noticed that the tide was extremely, so the plan was to come back this morning, hoping for interesting birds attracted by the extra mud uncovered.

Well, the tide was definitely very low, and still going down. In fact it was even lower than when Thames21 organised the Low Tide Events earlier this year. But the birds were not really there.

Apart from a group of 10 Mute Swans (and there were a further 3 towards Hammersmith Bridge),  All 'wading' birds turned into pigeons or starlings

It exposed some structures I don't recall seeing before.

The best was when I got to the Riverside Studios: House Sparrow chicks!

They use the bushes/trees that grow on the wall lining the Thames.

House Sparrow doing cute

Sunday, 23 May 2010


About 10 days ago, scanning the gulls for rings before doing the supermarket run, I spotted this young Herring Gull sporting a fairly mud-caked white ring. After much effort and the bird turning round to offer less better views of the ring, I finally managed to read it as A8LK.
I reported it almost as soon as I came home and had a lovely reply a few days later. This bird had been rescued as an orphan from Worthing and released early August last year from East Sussex. It has been seen along the Thames in London at various times during the winter.  I didn't see it this week, maybe it has moved along or I'll see it again next week, we'll see...

Friday, 21 May 2010

A short ad break

I have been asked by Frédéric Malher, the main author, to let you know of the release on 15th April of "Oiseaux nicheurs de Paris : Un atlas urbain" (Paris nesting birds: an urban atlas). I know it's been over a month but I waited until it was available at (you can also get it slightly cheaper at It is now also available at NHBS.

The main part is made up of articles about the 60 bird species nesting in "Paris intra-muros" (inside the Périphérique, 18km East-West, 9.5 North-South), with map, history, comparison with other cities and a summary in English.
But there are also overview chapters about the history and the various environments, more or less natural, of Paris, a list of all species observed since 1950 as well as a summary of the status of 100 species observed in Paris since 2000.
(Adapted from his announcement on his blog where you can also see photos of 2 pages).
Like many people, I didn't think Paris had much more to offer than pigeons and sparrows until a while back the Urban Birder mentioned on his blog going to Paris, asking for pointers. This piqued my curiosity and this is when I discovered Frédéric's blog and the mailing list he had started, ornitho_urbaine. Even though the mailing list is about urban birding anywhere, it is mostly about Paris and I have discovered a richness I never imagined. It almost makes me want to go there, and I don't particularly like Paris...