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Friday 26 January 2024

Battersea Power Station

January 24th

A good visit on Wednesday, good numbers of birds with the warmer temperatures with some species showing the first signs of spring.
I even had a Blue Tit investigating a nest box, great to see, there are currently 23 nest boxes on site, more and more habitat is becoming available, more species will arrive and the uptake on the boxes will increase more.

At dawn the usual suspects were at roost on the river wall buddleia, namely 2 Pied and 3 Grey Wagtails, always good to see these little gems, pretty soon come March onwards they will look to breed again. With the removal of the ice rink, the Wagtails were straight on the exposed grass/earth removing insects/bugs etc.

The new Bird feeding Station is working well and to their liking, with no less than 11 Goldfinches, a Robin and 2 Blue Tits feeding on it at one time or another. Sunflower Hearts and Peanuts seem to be doing the trick.

The bird of the morning, however, went to a 1st year male Black Redstart, what was surprising also is that this started to sing, testament to the warmer temperatures I suspect and the sunshine, I don't usually hear them singing in earnest until late March/April.
Notoriously hard to get into a nest box, preferring nooks and crannies, there are a number of discreetly placed open boxes all over the Estate for him/her, he's being seen regularly by the Gardner’s, so very territorial and no doubt wintering, hopefully he can entice a mate in.

I even managed a couple of photos of him, a 1st year bird not into his full adult male plumage as yet.

It's fairly unique to see the Power Stations 2 Schedule 1 stars on show, I later caught up with the Peregrines, after drawing a blank early morning, there are few places in the city where both protected species are resident, territorial and breed alongside each other.

As above I did eventually see our pair, earlier I couldn't see them on the ledges aloft but could hear the Tiercel going off, suspected she had prey, and this proved correct when some feathers started to drift down on the wind.

Retrieving a couple showed it to be an unlucky Ring-Necked Parakeet.

Checking on her showed we still have the same Falcon, so breeding is not certain, we will just have to wait and see. There is always the possibility that a new female may take over late, drive the current female off and then breed.

                                                                 Spring is in the air

                                                        Ring Necked Parakeet feathers


                                                    Falcon next to her regular feeding ledge


I finished the morning recording 26 species on the Estate, so not too bad for an inner London urban site at this time of year, 3 Redwing over and a Chiffchaff were the best of the rest, roll on spring!

Friday 5 January 2024

A Good Start


Beckton Sewage Works –

January 1st

Happy New Year to everyone, I hope everyone had a good Christmas, good fortune for 2024.

After Chris and I visited Southend on New Years Eve, I was out at dawn on New Years Day to get the ball rolling again at the Sewage Works. I finished on 95 for the year in 2023, so the aim this year will be to make 3 figures, my usual target.

Starting at dawn, around 7.30a.m, I covered the site for 3 hours and finished the morning on a total of 53 species, top billing will go to a 1st winter Caspian Gull, a good result to get this one under the belt early. A couple down on last year’s start of 55 but still good, as per 2023, a few notable absentees but early days yet.

Highlights and the pick of the rest were 11 Fieldfare, 17 Black Tailed Godwit, Rock Pipit, 8 Grey Wagtails, the ever-reliable Kestrels/Common Buzzard and 3 Jackdaw (not common here).

Pretty sure I had Yellow Legged Gull as well, but views not good enough to clinch it.

Roll on better weather.