Bit of an end of term vibe at the Ridge this week, most stuff has passed through and I suppose we're already looking towards the Autumn. Nevertheless conditions were ok and it's never bad to sit back and watch the sun rise. I got up to the park at 0600 and was immediately aware of a "hoo-eet" call coming from the buddleia scrub. Bit unexpected to find a Willow Warbler still knocking about at this time but welcome anyway (perhaps one of the birds from a few weeks back?) Usual suspects were in place on the ridge with Blackcaps in abundance and easily seen. I counted 7 - all male. There were 2 Common Whitethroat showing well, one from along the fence line just inside the park on the ridge entrance. Both were involved in a bit of territorial banter.
'Fraid it was D- on the Vis-Mig front: two Swifts went over North early on and joined half a dozen more feeding high over our heads. The only other real movement came from Greenfinch (3>South), a Cormorant (>NE), 2 Jays (W>E) several groups of gulls and the obligatory hordes of Woodies, Feral Pigeons and RnPs.
Willow warbler (1), Song thrush (2 - 1 doing a passable impression of a Nuthatch), Mistle thrush (heard - park), Robin (several inc 1 juv), Blackcap (7), Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Chiffchaff (1 heard), Stock dove (4 feeding on grass), Blackbird, Ring-necked Parakeet (c10), Starling (5 feeding w/ Stock doves), Carrion crow, Magpie, Goldfinch, Whitethroat (2), Long-tailed Tit (5 inc fledglings), Blue tit, Jay (3), Dunnock (1), Swift (c6), Cormorant (1), Goldcrest (1 heard), Herring gull, Lesser Black-backed gull, Mallard, Green woodpecker (heard - park)
Just after I left, Tom had a Sparrowhawk low round the transmitter - wonder if this is a Sydenham Hill Wood bird?
This was probably the last early visit for a while but generally it's been a positive season. There were two park firsts at least (as far as I know): Lesser Whitethroat and the Redstart (ok, not our bird, but whatever) Palace is never going to be a hot destination for rarities but these little things are important from a local perspective. It's as much about sharing knowledge and (hopefully) enthusiasm for the area and its wildlife as anything else. We'll be posting sightings from around the area through the Summer so keep checking back. Drop us a line at email@example.com - all sightings, questions etc welcome!
Big thanks to Dave, Martin, Daniel, Gavin, Tom, Steve, Jason, Ernie (sorry if I missed your name)
Words by Pete