Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dead Heat

Arrived on site early to avoid the heat. In my experience birding in London in hot conditions goes from slow to completely dead. This mornings birding at EIDB was nearer the latter. There were no passage migrants and just a few passerines, which consisted of a few finches and a late brood of four Reed Warblers. An adult yellow-legged Gull was on the O2 mud, or is it the Dome, or in the Olympics, The North Greenwich Arena. The Thames was lifeless as was the copse. Two Common Sandpipers were on Bow Creek and that was about it, apart from a Jersey Tiger Moth in the basin.  So it was poor but not as bad as the Olympic Closing Ceremony. Russel Brand murdering 'I Am The Walrus' was a crime, and I think it was the worst television I have witnessed for ages. The Olympics were not as bad as I thought they were going to be, though I did weary of it in the second week,  mainly due to the security, packed trains and blanket coverage in the media. An incident I witnessed on the Docklands Light Railway summed up part of the Olympics for me. I was travelling opposite two posh kids with their dad, when we pulled into Custom House station. On one side of the tracks is the Excel Centre with its salubrious surroundings of hotels, and yachts, on the other side of the tracks is Custom House with its housing estates and corrugated iron. One of the kids looked upon Custom House with horror and said to his father 'Whats that dad', the dad replied, ' Don't worry about that son its where the poor people live'

Monday, August 06, 2012

A Trickle of Migrants

Early August has often been good for migrants  at EIDB so I usually make sure I visit the site as much as possible. But so far its been quiet and this morning was no different. The dock area was pretty dead with just a Greylag of interest. The Thames was also quiet continuing a poor spell, though its a bit livier just downriver. Common Terns were not recorded and there seems to have been a clear-out of this species. The northern scrub just held a few Reed Warblers, still feeding young. I did record a flock of about 20 birds feeding in the gardens, most were Tits, but this flock also held two migrant Willow Warblers and a Chiffchaff. Sand Martins were still feeding young, I believe a second brood. The copse was as empty as some Olympic seats until I heard a screech, no it was not Paul McCartney but a Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Moving to Bow Creek, an Oystercatcher was feeding on the mud. This species has been a bit hard to find this year so this was a welcome sight. Also around were four Common Sandpipers part of a large influx into the Lower Thames area. A rare sighting (especially in August) of a Swift concluded the bird records but the most spectacular sighting was of two Jersey Garden Tiger Moths at the Ecology Park.