Saturday, 21 July 2012

Sprawks and more

Not much doing in the way of sightings recently although Dave's Reed Warbler is still hanging out on the lake in Dulwich Park, that's three weeks now.

Quick meet up at the Ridge yesterday morning, more for a bit of catch up than a desperate hope that there might be something interesting hanging about. The view from the top was good, with bright, clear skies over south London, but in keeping with the season it was pretty quiet on the bird front. Blackcap were still numerous in the scrub on the ridge and a couple of Chiffchaff were alternately calling/singing but there was no sign of any Whitethroat. The scrub has really exploded into colour in the last few weeks with pinkish patches of Rosebay Willowherb now springing up here and there. We had good views of a Goldcrest hovering and feeding in the row of conifers at the far corner of the ridge, where we were also momentarily distracted by an odd squeaking sound. It seemed to be coming from the trees but after a few puzzled looks we looked up and realised the sound was coming from the cable/guys winching up the Palace Transmitter:

Nice work, not sure what they were doing but I bet the view is incredible. 

After catching a fair few Swifts feeding on the horizon and a few short, sharp bursts of a Green Woodpecker in the park, it was mostly garden bits and bobs so we headed down the road to Sydenham Hill Wood to check on the Sparrowhawk family that has been pretty vocal recently. It wasn't long before we heard a harsh  kek-kek-kek call over the canopy and followed the noise to a clearing where the birds made several fleeting appearances. From the brief views and sound there looked to be an adult male and female present with possibly two recently fledged young. There was a lot of activity which appeared to suggest the young were being given a lesson or two in flying, or that's how it seemed to us. Unsurprisingly with the Sparrowhawks present, most birds made themselves scarce, although there was a Stock Dove calling near the new pond.

A couple more weeks and we might start seeing stuff coming back through. Wonder if a Hobby will make a local appearance this year? Apparently we're due for a bit of an improvement in the weather soon but let's not count our chickens eh? Sure I've been told that before...but still, here's hoping some sun brings out some more birds and inverts.

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