Monday, 26 July 2010

How amazing is that?

The Black-headed have been back for a little while now, their numbers on the foreshore between Crabtree Wharf and Hammersmith Bridge are almost at winter level already. And there are a lot more juveniles this year than last. But what I'd really like is a Med(iterranean) Gull, so I keep on scanning. I mentioned it to Louis in Chiswick yesterday and he texted me that he had just seen one by the Eyot. By then, it was a bit too late for me to go and check, but, early this morning, instead of going to the allotment I went to search for a Med Gull.  No such luck. But, as I was scanning the gulls I noticed that one had a colour ring, so I grabbed my camera and tried a few shots.  At last, it got closer and presented the right profile: white UYC on right leg.

At home, I checked my records and realised I had seen this bird before, as I was off-patch, in Ladbroke Grove, last February.  There is a bridge over the canal, with a Sainsbury's on one side, it was on a building on the other side:

I did at the time report my sighting via the BTO website after I had no reply contacting the marker directly (as recommended). From what I gather, this bird has probably been rung in Denmark, but it's been almost 6 months now and I have not had any reply.  I shall try again with this second sighting, and we'll see how that goes...

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Mystery Duck

I know it's been a long time since my last post, I pretty much haven't had the time, and once you've let it go, it can be hard to get back.  One of the things that has kept me busy is my allotment, and it's coming back from there this morning via the Thames Patch that I spotted this duck among the Mallards by Crabtree Wharf.  My first impression was "Oh, one of those weird mallards..." but after closer inspection I am not convinced.  For a start, it's smaller, about 3/4 size of a Mallard as seen on the last photo when it decided to have a go at one. Then its eyes are red, more like a Pochard than a Mallard. But it has the shimmering green of a Mallard on its neck. A hybrid of some kind?  I let you judge for yourself, and if you have any idea, feel free to comment :)

Update 12 July: This is a Chestnut Teal. Another escapee. Thank you 'Anonymous'!

Quite cute, whatever it is, I think.