Monday, July 11, 2011

Mainly Wildfowl

During July there are subtle changes to the birdlife of this area. Gulls start to return, some passage of waders and later in the month, Terns. Also wildfowl numbers start to increase. This latter event was obvious today with over 120 ducks on the basin. Over 100 of these were Mallards, including quite a number of near full grown youngsters. Six Teal were also present, this is unusual, birds don't usually start returning until August, in fact I am not sure if they have been recorded in any previous July. Also at large was the escaped Chestnut Teal, Australian in origin. This is quite an aggressive individual who was evicting Mallards from the slipway and taking over the area of the nearby Tern Rafts. Considering his origin, maybe he should be called Rupert.
There was very little else, just one Common Tern on the Thames, a very meagre return. Sand Martins are still breeding, presumably second broods and three Swifts flew north.

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