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Sunday, 3 April 2011

Barking Gulls April 3rd

Barking Outfall has for the last 10 or 15 years or so hosted a very large Herring and Lesser Black Backed Gull colony. I suspect that in the last 5 years or so it has grown to be the largest colony of both species in London, at breeding time it is a spectacular and impressive sight.

The colony looking south.(Click on photo's too enlarge)
I visited the colony this morning, watching from around 100 metres away, even at this range, looking through binoculars they became aggressive and I was mobbed for my troubles. It appears none are on eggs as yet, but many are paired up and occupying there nest spot.

Part of the colony

Eastern end
I did a random count of the pairs/singles present on the large jetty and also surrounding structures, reaching a very impressive 67 pairs of Lesser Black Backed and 46 of Herring, these were of the ‘ static’ pairs, there were many other singles milling around and absent on other parts of the Thames Water site. The figure will be far higher and more accurate when I can count incubating birds.

Red colour ringed Herring Gull, left leg, anyone got any idea where this would be from?

Barking Outfall

Pair of Oystercatchers still present at low tide, with Teal now down to 27 pair. The Creek held a calling Cetti’s Warbler along with 2 Blackcap singing in a nearby copse.

As I was driving out of the Thames Water site I had a 1st year male/female Black Redstart fly across the road, a welcome addition to the list, this has to be a migrant passing through to London, as far as I am aware they have never bred here, but have wintered.

Barking Bay

Wheatears at last – 2 found on the open area of land adjacent to the green sward. Other additions for the year came in the shape of Green Sandpiper, Little Grebe, Chiffchaff and 2 Common Tern up and down off Crossness.


Shelduck were everywhere pairing up and prospecting Rabbit holes and Skylark numbered at least 6 singing birds.

Unusual sight of 3 Song Thrushes in low grass, flushed and then flew high together west, possible migrants.

Pair of Shelduck

Grey Heron

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