Saturday, 25 June 2011

Gulls ruled Offside

There are 704 Geese on Walthamstow reservoirs, and today I saw most of them, it’s not what I was hoping for. Pete counted them in the week and, despite such thoroughness failed to turn up the Red-crested Pochard, so maybe it has moved on.

I spent a considerable time up on the Lockwood, hoping for a wandering flock of Crossbill to cross my path, but the best on offer was two fluffy Black-headed Gulls on one of the rafts. At the North end three Common Sandpipers together were probably Southbound returning migrants.

When I returned to the Southern end I spent a bit of time building watching (you can tell its Summer can’t you). There are one or two spots around the reservoir from which you can see the top of the Emirates stadium, Tottenham’s ground of course it right next to the Lockwood and Orient is fairly obvious but I tried in vain to get a sight of West Ham’s ground. I was going to start a thread on the Londonbirders group about which patch has views of the most premiership grounds but I don’t think we would win with just two so I will drop that one. The top of St. Paul’s Cathedral was showing well, as it probably has done for many a year and the world’s ugliest new sculpture is growing steadily on the Olympic site, I will grace you with a picture when it’s finished.

My attention was dragged back to the reservoir, however, by quite a racket coming from the Tern raft, the adults seemed to be mobbing something on the raft, I was puzzled because all I could see were Terns, young and old. The mystery was solved when two very large ‘Tern’ chicks were unceremoniously herded into the water and swam back to the Black-headed Gull raft. The answer to the question “how good is a young Black-headed Gull’s sense of homing?” is, not particularly good, they had obviously gone for a swim and climbed aboard the wrong raft.



Still missing Yellow-legged Gull for my patch year list I thought I would check out the pre-roost gathering of Gulls on the filter beds off Coppermill Lane. It’s early days, the Summer only just having started and the day was still fairly young but there were a few Gulls building up including at least 5 Greater Black-backed Gulls and a second summer Herring Gull which was ringed with a metal ring on the left leg and a white Darvic ring on the right, too far away to be read and the CR-Ringing website seems to have been altered so I couldn’t look up it’s likely origin but I have a feeling it is somewhere ‘mundane’ like Pitsea rather than Arctic Russia or another exotic locale.

PW

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