Monday, September 26, 2011

Another Barred Warbler

They say lightning does strike the same place twice, well that does not apply at EIDB, because amazingly another Barred Warbler has turned up. The last one was recorded 25-26th Sept 2006, and I beleive that this one is the only twitchable bird that has appeared in London since.
Coming home from work I received a call from John Archer at 12.30 to say he had a probable Barred Warbler in the NW scrub, a quick rearrangement of the rest of my day meant that I was on site by 13.30. I waited 10 minutes and then the bird appeared in a small elder. A large greyish warbler, Garden Warbler like. It showed a plain face, white underneath, white tips to the wing coverts and greyish legs. It moved in a slow cumbersome way through the folage. I did not see the undertail coverts, but was sure it was a Barred Warbler. If I had seen this bird on the Norfolk coast I would not even thought twice, but this is East India Dock Basin. With two us now having seen the bird, the news was put out, and I did not see the bird again but it was refound later in the afternoon.
The area has been very quiet so far this Autumn, but this bird has certainly ramped up things. Its to be hoped that Nick and David Callahan (other EIDB regulars) manage to see the bird.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Cry of the Curlew

The 1st of September is a special day in the birding calender, it heralds the start of Autumn migrations main event, after the August overture. Apart from a couple of good birds, August was a very quiet time at EIDB. This morning started very slowly just a Chiffchaff and two Reed Warblers. Then I noticed that an easterly wind was blowing up the Thames and strengthening, so time for a river watch. The bright conditions were not condusive to a good passage, but the wind was becoming brisk. A few Common Terns passed through including a juvenile, only the second I have seen this year. After about an hour not much had happened and I was about to leave when I heard the lonesome call of a Curlew, I could not see it at first but it kept on calling, and finally I picked it up flying up the Thames. When it got to the Dome it turned around and flew back downriver. This is a rare species at this site, only one record before today. A total of 16 Common Terns were counted, nothing to write home about, but the 1st of September had worked its magic.