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Sunday, 26 May 2013

Barking Bay

May 25th

This year I have not made that many visits, most of it is just down to the fact that I am now working away every week on what must be said are very enjoyable surveys. Due to this when I arrive back for the weekend it is catch up time with the Peregrines, such has been the case this weekend.

Peregrines will always come first, rightly so, I have now been monitoring them in London for 13 years, after a visit to one site on Saturday I then squeezed a visit in to the Bay.

Walking out initially along the green sward I was rather hoping that one of the recent Sanderlings had lingered, not to be although John found one later ‘across the water’ at Crossness. Walking down I did locate some waders in the shape of 3 Ringed Plovers and a Common Sandpiper, there were also 2 pair of Oystercatchers, both already incubating. Sadly, I hope I am wrong, the Oyc’s are likely to again be predated, presumably the same pairing last year lost all 3 of their chicks. Saying that one pair has dived in with the Common Terns so that stands a far better chance of success.

A redundant Dolphin Jetty, shingled out it is perfect for Common Terns

The Common Tern Jetty, Oystercatcher far left, smart bird.

Common Terns were everywhere picking off food of the surface of the mud and on reaching the far end I scoped the colony, as near as I can make out this year we have around 24 pairs, good stuff. I am still hoping that I can get a couple more of the unused Dolphin Jetties converted for habitat for the Terns, in this way the colony could well be doubled, it is now too late but hopefully others could be made suitable by 2014.

Common Terns worming on the mud

Late Wheatear

Moving inland I looked for Whinchat, it is now getting a bit late but I did locate a single Wheatear, other than this there was very little in the way of migrants, not unexpected given that we are now nearly into June.

Good to get back on the patch again, will hopefully catch up with returning migrants now in the autumn.

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