My recent posts are becoming predictable. This morning with NW winds a rising tide and the time of year should have produced some Tern passage, but not a single Tern was seen, unprecedented at this site in the second week of August. Even if there isn't any passage there are usually about 10 hanging about on the Thames. The river was very very quiet with barely any Gulls around, and the only notable sighting was a Common Sandpiper. So what is happening?. Common Terns have possibly had a terrible breeding season, I haven't seen a juvenile this year. Gulls also may have had a bad one, hardly any young Black-headed Gulls are around. This could be down to a lack of food in the river or predation by larger Gulls, but I haven't seen many juvenile large Gulls. This could be a local problem, or it could be regional or national, the first reports of breeding success of Seabirds during 2011 should available from about October. I will report back on this.
Of course it could all change in a few days and loads of passage birds could be in the Thames. It wasn't only the Thames that was quiet, the rest of the area was just as quiet, the only Warblers were a few Reed Warblers still feeding young, three Teal were on the basin and a Peregrine flew over, and that was about it. The copse was dead apart from a pair of old pants that were hanging from a tree, much to the interest of the local flies.