|Firecrest (Regus ignicapillus) at SHW, just like this one...courtesy T.Voekler/WikiCommons|
It's been some time coming but last Thursday (17th) a visiting birder to Sydenham Hill Wood spotted a superb FIRECREST up in the vicinity of the Crescent Wood Road entrance. This is an elusive bird in the area, recorded sporadically most winters, but not so far in 2012/13 so we were all chuffed at the news. Not only that, just to rub it in, TWO birds were reported. By a quirk of fate, I was working at home on Thursday afternoon, so when Dan texted me all thoughts of a productive afternoon largely went out the window, down the road and over to the wood. Arriving at the top entrance, I checked the big Yew where it was reported but there was nothing. A bit further along the path, I found Dan loitering by a holly bush, doing a passable firecrest impression...but another pair of eyes and 5 minutes later we caught up with a small flock of goldcrests nearby where, amongst the busy flutterings, was a single Firecrest. It was always on the move, favouring the dense ivy-clad trees by the path but it gave a couple of great views on and off for half an hour. Lovely. Happily a few others have spotted it over the last few days too with it last being seen on the 20th - here's hoping it sticks around. Bird of the Week done and dusted.
The cold snap last Friday has kept things interesting in the area over the last few days. Two drake Shovelers are back on Dulwich lake, redpolls are in the area and Julian had a Siskin on his backgarden feeder. A single Linnet was a great find this morning in Long Meadow/Dulwich Wood Ave by Doug - a very notable local record. There was a male Kestrel over Dulwich Park today and a regular male Sparrowhawk has been causing the usual bother in SHW. This morning the wood was filled with the sound of three Nuthatches calling loudly from the area near the Folly, a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker was conspicuous on Cox's Walk too. Over the weekend there was lots of movement of thrushes, continuing today with Redwing over DP and several flocks of Fieldfare moving north/north west mid-morning. Several of the latter, alighted briefly in trees around London Wildlife Trust's Centre for Wildlife Gardening:
|Winter warmer: Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) East Dulwich, today|
In other exciting news, you can now follow our south London bird wanderings on Twitter. Yep, a big week, truly our downy fledgling is taking on the shades of ooh, first-winter finery. Thanks for reading, cheers all.