Monday, 30 April 2012

Oh yeah

OK update time...the big news from the Ridge this week was undoubtedly the female COMMON REDSTART that was picked up in the park on Friday (27th April) and reported on London Birders. Apparently it was seen around lunchtime poking about in the firs at the top, right next to our usual spot. Naturally we all missed it, but it's a great record for the area and well done to the gent who spotted it. It's proof that there is value to the scrub at the top and that the prominent south facing ridge is capable of attracting long-distance migrants on spring passage.

Female Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) not the palace bird but one like it. Redstarts are very Robin like in appearance but have a distinct rufous tail. They are summer visitors, arriving in Britain in spring where they are most commonly found in western broadleaved Oak forests. They spend the winter in Africa and the gulf states.
Photo: GoogleImages/Flickr I think.
With pulses racing at this news and a good weekend of swirling north westerlies behind us, Dave, Dan and Gavin headed up the ridge this morning for business as usual. Tuck in:

Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Robin, Wren, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Carrion Crow, Starling, Feral Pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Mallard, Magpie, Dunnock, Ring-necked Parakeet, Pied Wagtail, Blackcap (c10), Chiffchaff (2). 

These were the commoner birds inhabiting the ridge. Nice to see Coal Tit making an appearance, not one I come across much in these parts. Jay, Green Woodpecker and Nuthatch were noted elsewhere and in amongst some crows was another local rarity - a Jackdaw! Who needs a flippin' Redstart when you got ol' Blue Eyes?!

Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)
A handsome corvid, told apart by smaller size,  sleek grey nape and  blueish eyes.
Calls in crow fashion but with  more distinctive 'metallic' cries. Photo: wiki or something.

Herring gull, Lesser Black-backed gull (SW, moving in larger numbers than seen previously). A pair of Sparrowhawk were displaying/moving south. And finally there was some sexy mig action too; 8 swifts flying SW and a single Swallow NW over the ridge.

Additions from Friday (thanks Gavin):

Lake-side: Canada Goose (with young), Mallard (with young), Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe ( 1 adult calling intermittently), Moorhen, Coot (with young). 2 Willow Warblers (1 by lake, 1 on ridge)

Just in (30/4): Apparently it looks like a few Whitethroats have finally made it back to the ridge. Dan's got money on it so check back soon to see whose getting the drinks. Thanks all.

1 comment:

  1. Nature's great exhibition indeed

    I'm afraid my £10 whitethroat bet will only offer 2 south-east london pints if I'm wrong, local prices considered