nathalie's blog

How amazing is that?

The Black-headed have been back for a little while now, their numbers on the foreshore between Crabtree Wharf and Hammersmith Bridge are almost at winter level already. And there are a lot more juveniles this year than last. But what I'd really like is a Med(iterranean) Gull, so I keep on scanning. I mentioned it to Louis in Chiswick yesterday and he texted me that he had just seen one by the Eyot. By then, it was a bit too late for me to go and check, but, early this morning, instead of going to the allotment I went to search for a Med Gull.  No such luck. But, as I was scanning the gulls I noticed that one had a colour ring, so I grabbed my camera and tried a few shots.  At last, it got closer and presented the right profile: white UYC on right leg.

At home, I checked my records and realised I had seen this bird before, as I was off-patch, in Ladbroke Grove, last February.  There is a bridge over the canal, with a Sainsbury's on one side, it was on a building on the other side:

I did at the time report my sighting via the BTO website after I had no reply contacting the marker directly (as recommended). From what I gather, this bird has probably been rung in Denmark, but it's been almost 6 months now and I have not had any reply.  I shall try again with this second sighting, and we'll see how that goes...

Mystery Duck

I know it's been a long time since my last post, I pretty much haven't had the time, and once you've let it go, it can be hard to get back.  One of the things that has kept me busy is my allotment, and it's coming back from there this morning via the Thames Patch that I spotted this duck among the Mallards by Crabtree Wharf.  My first impression was "Oh, one of those weird mallards..." but after closer inspection I am not convinced.  For a start, it's smaller, about 3/4 size of a Mallard as seen on the last photo when it decided to have a go at one. Then its eyes are red, more like a Pochard than a Mallard. But it has the shimmering green of a Mallard on its neck. A hybrid of some kind?  I let you judge for yourself, and if you have any idea, feel free to comment :)

Quite cute, whatever it is, I think.

The bee and the poppy

[initially posted to]
This morning at the allotment I literally saw this poppy flower open in front of my eyes and, immediately, a bumblebee came to visit, so I indulged in a short photographic break:

I believe this bee might be a Large Red-tailed Humble-bee, but I could be totally wrong...

I promise the next post will be about progress I have made on the plot...

A6LK still there and a pigeon

This week, the Herring Gull with ring A6LK was at the supermarket again.  Here it is with a friend.

I am still learning about gulls, but, somehow, it looks like a female to me, some je-ne-sais-quoi... One thing for sure, next to the other one, some of its feathers are well worn out, but it appears moulting may have started as some others appear brand new.

There was another ringed bird on the wharf today. I don't know if it was lost and was just resting, it stuck like a sore thumb among the feral pigeons and was not really interacting with them. There is a white pigeon in that flock but, even at a distance, I could tell it was different. Closer, I could see it has a green ring on one of its legs, but I couldn't read it.

I have tried to find out what breed it is, without success, but I have to say this is a pretty little thing compared to a lot of those fancy pigeons I have just had to look at during my search...

Very low tide

Yesterday early morning, I stopped by the Thames at Crabtree Wharf on my way to the allotment and noticed that the tide was extremely, so the plan was to come back this morning, hoping for interesting birds attracted by the extra mud uncovered.

Well, the tide was definitely very low, and still going down. In fact it was even lower than when Thames21 organised the Low Tide Events earlier this year. But the birds were not really there.

Apart from a group of 10 Mute Swans (and there were a further 3 towards Hammersmith Bridge),  All 'wading' birds turned into pigeons or starlings

It exposed some structures I don't recall seeing before.

The best was when I got to the Riverside Studios: House Sparrow chicks!

They use the bushes/trees that grow on the wall lining the Thames.

House Sparrow doing cute

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