A lot of sky was watched today, and I am not talking satellite, there were plenty of big puffy clouds and it was a tad warmer than of late so I thought there could be Raptors on the cards, especially given some local sightings in recent days.
A quick check of the island on the East Warwick revealed no Raptors, probably to be expected, and no Waders, probably also to be expected really, but you never know. So up to the Lockwood and scan.... There were a few Little Egrets commuting backwards and forwards to the Heronry islands on the Southern section, scads of Cormorants doing the same. Swifts were down in numbers, perhaps just London breeding birds now.
Then out of nowhere a large, no doubt female, Peregrine glided (glid?) steadily South, I watched it for quite a while as I haven’t seen one on patch for a bit, I know Lol has been seeing one or two recently and yesterday he visited a suspected breeding site. There was evidence of Peregrine activity but no actual breeding; I think some arrangements might be made for the site to be made more attractive for 2011, unless, of course, the Peregrines sort their housing problems out on their own. I watched as the Peregrine circled round up high and then made her way back North till nearly directly overhead then, Hello!...A Red Kite was drifting West much higher up and in a very bright patch of cloud, if I had not been watching the Peregrine I would never have seen it. It was in wing moult with a few inner primaries or outer secondaries missing on both wings, it didn’t do much other than keep on going towards Alexandra Palace.
A welcome patch year tick, now expected annually, I am surprised it has taken me this long to get one. Later a Hobby and a Sparrowhawk were both seen over Walthamstow but I couldn’t get a Buzzard despite wishing one out of the distant Forest, nor did I see a Kestrel, perhaps they were even higher up?
I did try to get a photo through the bins but only managed sky, so you will have to look at this displaying Common Tern instead.
(On this date: 14 05 09 A ‘hepatic’ Cuckoo seen on the Waterworks N.R. this morning. On the Lockwood a summer plumaged Dunlin and a Ringed Plover, making 9 species of Wader on Walthamstow in two days. Also there a roosting m Garganey. Two Arctic Terns North and later 4 Sandwich Terns dropped in to the East Warwick bathed and then moved on. A Hobby over No. 5. On the Waterworks in the afternoon the Cetti’s Warbler singing quite extensively. 75 species on Walthamstow today.)