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Saturday 30 September 2023

Where did they come from?


Parliament September 19th

Well, that messed the Season Review up, I hope everyone is well, I was finally able to visit Parliament after 8 weeks of resting up the ankle, I now have one of these blow-up boots so back up and running.

I was in for a big surprise also, to recap, they failed earlier in the year on Victoria Tower(eggs rolling), but the Falcon then disappeared and when I saw the Tiercel thereafter, he was always going towards Vauxhall. I never saw the Falcon at all in the run up to July.

So, you can imagine my surprise on this morning, when the first birds seen were 2 juvenile peregrines!

Both juveniles were initially on the Abbey just after dawn, the Falcon was feeding having taken a Feral Pigeon, this was as I arrived. Looking at both juveniles, both had full crops, so she had fed them previously.

She commenced to feed, with the remaining juvenile flying round and chasing just about anything that flew by, even a Cormorant, it's just practice for honing hunting skills.

The 2 juveniles then interacted with each other, beyond the Abbey, with the Falcon caching the prey and returning to Victoria Tower, as she returned the adult Tiercel then flew into the Abbey to feed, I hadn't seen him previously.

It means that as suspected earlier, that after failing, they have successfully bred somewhere over towards Vauxhall fledging at least 2 juveniles, the first thing they did then was return to Parliament and Victoria Tower, their 'core' territory and structure.

Obviously, they are further along, time wise, as they failed first time round, it means that the 2 juveniles could well have fledged 4 weeks+ further along the timescale than normal, this very likely means that they will be at Parliament longer.

By size comparison they both look like males, when they were interacting, I could see no size difference, the adult Falcon was clearly bigger as well.

Friday 15 September 2023

Beckton September 3rd 2023

This was the first visit since July, good weather, easy birding as I stayed in the car around the Sewage Works, it was just good to be out and catch up with the wildlife.

Obviously having missed a portion of migrant time, I was keen to catch up with hopefully a few still going through, so it proved with 2 Northern Wheatears on the eastern section of the works.

Although one disappeared straight away, the 2nd proved very photogenic, posing very well for photos, with the car acting as a ‘natural’ hide it was quite approachable.

Both Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard and Kestrel were also seen, all being resident breeders on site, whilst looking for these though, I caught up with a Kingfisher. These are never easy, more often heard before being seen, if your lucky, however this one landed and started fishing.

I got a few photos and good to connect with an approachable one, its usually just a blue flash going by.

                                                               A mischief of Magpies

                                                        Cormorant - too hot

                                                           Crows being there usual self

                                                                     Posy one at last

                                        Kestrel Box - being cleant out this month+new substrate

                                                                   Teal - already back

                                                                        Little cracker

A rewarding visit, much needed therapy, lagging behind this year trying to make my 100 species annual total, so far only 90 seen/heard but a few months left yet.

Wednesday 13 September 2023

Canvey Point


September 12th 2023

It’s been a good few years since I came here so a visit was in order, a bit of easy birding where I could rest up, without having to walk too far with the ankle.

However, on arrival at just after 6.00a.m, I got a bit of a surprise to see major works taking place on the Point and all along the sea wall. Talking to a local lady, I understand it’s for the next 2-3 years all along, it is now a construction area, all closed off and inaccessible.

Not to be outdone I headed a little way upriver and watched from a different position from 6.30 – 10.20a.m, High Tide was just after 11.

A very enjoyable sea watch, great to be back, nothing earth shattering in regard to species, best birds will go down as to 2 Black Terns and 6 Arctic Skuas.

As follows, birds of note:

Yellow Wagtail – 6 over towards Kent

Curlew – 84 – mostly Kent to Essex

Little Egret – 4

Turnstone – 126, several flocks all upriver

Sparrowhawk – 1

Black Tern – 1 - 6.58a.m and another at 8.22a.m

Sandwich Tern – around 16 but likely some duplication

Harbour Porpoise – 2

Commic Terns – 60+

Arctic Tern – 2 definites

Arctic Skua – all upriver – 7.47a.m - 8.45a.m – 3 up together 9.55a.m and another 10.04a.m

Mediterranean Gull – 2

Wigeon – 70 Kent to Essex high

                                                     Turnstone - several flocks up river


                                                                       Arctic Skua

                                                            Cormorant with Garfish?

Not a bad morning, 23 species seen.