Sunday, 16 January 2011

Not a slaty backed gull.

As the title suggests I wasn't one of the lucky few to see a Slaty Backed Gull this friday just gone, slightly regretting my decision not to rush across London that day presuming it would stay and be seen well again. C'est la vie, the french would say. Or Merde.

Today was much more successful though, ended up going to Barnes again where I bumped into a Brent Res birder who'd obviously brought with him some luck for his once annual winter trip to Barnes. A gorgeous Woodcock fly over once whilst in the WWF Hide was then repeated as we were walking to the peacock tower with the bird circling right over our heads, showing off and giving me some the best flight views of Woodcock I've ever had. The female Scaup was still present, initially being pointed out to me sleeping in front of the observatory and then had good but distant views of it swimming about from the peacock tower. And just to top things off the bird I'd been most hoping to see popped up on the shingle island in front of the tower, a very pretty little Water Pipit, disguised ridiculously well against the shingle.

Three very good London birds in one day, and I only got to the site at 12PM.

Other highlights were a male Sparrowhawk, loads of Wigeon, Shelduck, a pair of Pintail and the usual delightful Lapwings. Large gulls were notably absent however, which left me unable to even string a Slaty Backed :(

The light was so appaling that the camera again didn't get much of an outing although I did have a go at photographing the Water Pipit...

 Spot the Water Pipit.

Just trust me, there's a Water Pipit there.

Part of about 60 Wigeon.

And these are a couple from Chiswick Eyot on Saturday.

Not a Slaty-Backed Gull.

Not a Slaty-Backed Gull. It is ringed though, but I couldn't read it.

Not a Slaty-Backed Gull.

Not Slaty-Backed Gulls.
P.S I'm getting good at these unintentionally arty shots.


  1. any luck with the Scaup at your patch today, Louis?

  2. Unfortunately wasn't around for that! I'd been checking all the tufty flocks and it'd been hanging around the general area for a while (seen it a couple of times but not quite 'on patch'). I need to spend some more time on patch like you do mate!
    P.S thanks for the comment, only just started using this again.