Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fog, Mud, Dickens, Boris and some Birds

Its been over a week since I was last on the patch, the main reasons for my absence being work, football, music and latterly fog. It was still foggy this morning though I could just about see across the Thames. At least it was peaceful, particularly with the lack of planes flying over to London City Airport due to the fog. But that master of buffoonery the London Mayor Boris Johnson wants to build another huge airport in the Thames Estuary, partly he says to ensure that when the fog comes there are more chances that planes will fly. Well I suggest that Boris reads some Charles Dickens. Dickens wrote a series of short stories about a fictional town located more or less where Boris wants to place the new airport, and the name that Dickens gave this town, MUDFOG ! Of course the real loser will be the environment, if this airport is built every birder that watches the Inner Thames (including Rainham Marshes) might as well pack up and go home.
This mornings birding was rather uninspiring, so far November has been largely dominated by southerly winds and has been very mild, winter still feels a long way off. There was 303 Teal on the Basin, the highest count so far this winter, though over a hundred of those fled the Basin when a Peregrine swooped in. A chase ensued as the Peregrine raced after the flock down the Thames, but the flock kept a tight formation and the Peregrine gave up as the flock reached Charlton. One nil to the Teal, though I would not bet against a Peregrine equaliser. The wader roost at Bow Creek held 12 Redshank and 3 Common Sandpipers, and a single Shelduck was in the area. A female Sparrowhawk flew over the Basin which did not evoke a reaction from the Teal. There were very few small birds around.

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