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Saturday, 16 March 2013

Barking Outfall

March 3rd

As they say, spring has sprung, the first birds for me that give you an inkling that it is coming are returning Oystercatchers, they are back to breed and for the first time I noticed that Teal numbers seem to be a little lower.

The Oyc’s rarely succeed in breeding unfortunately due to the presence of Crows and the larger Gull species. Being very close to probably the largest breeding colony of Lesser Black Back’s and Herring Gulls in London is not a recipe for success. However as mentioned in past post’s both the jetty, breeding oyc’s and roosting Redshank are under threat from the proposed Ferry to be sited on Galleon’s Reach. I am no lover of Boris, the bloke is a serious threat to nature and the environment along with his advisors all along the Thames corridor, if the ferry goes ahead it will mean another 2 Brownfield sites gone. I can understand the need for progress with a growing population and more cars on the road, but why not modernise the Woolwich Ferry, this way there would be less environmental impact.

Under threat - the Gull breeding Jetty

Great Black Backed Gulls bred on it in 2012

This is a bit of a late post, of late Peregrines are taking up a lot of my time, recently whilst in London I found a pair of hybrids that appear to be holding to territory – see for photos and the story. It is an unusual situation and the worry will always be that they will get into the peregrine gene pool if breeding occurs, hopefully they can be caught by Falconers although one has been around for a few years. 

Possibly a Peregrine/Merlin


Getting back to the Outfall, it has and always will be a Chiffchaff wintering magnet, seeing a mixed winter flock containing 5 wintering Chiffchaffs is not unusual, Beckton Sewage Farm is a massive source of food. As you can see there is also a lot of variation in them, sometimes down to light, still waiting for a Sibe….. 

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