Capital Birds

It was off to my Mums in London today with a stop in Reading on the way to look for some new walking boots. After the shop I made a quick stop at Whiteknights Park where a Firecrest has been regularly reported. I found the right spot and there were plenty of birds around, but no Firecrest. On the way up to London, Red Kite and a couple of Kestrels were seen. After a cup of tea at Mum’s we walked around to Osterley Tube Station for some Central London birding. Three stops along the line is South Ealing (for Waxwings) Station. A small flock has been here since the New Year. Amazing that they have been in the same spot for thirty-two days now. Oh we should have the same in Swindon instead of the occasional brief random sightings that have made then so hard to find. As we headed up the steps from the platform a group of birders were coming down, I asked one if the Waxwings were still around and he pointed out of the window on the stairwell and said yes in that tree there. A year tick without even going outside. Out on the street we watched a flock of thirteen birds flying around and feeding from a single ornamental Pink Rowan tree in the front garden of some flats, next to a bus stop on a busy main road. Great stuff. Then it was back on the tube to Hammersmith , the Number 9 bus to the Albert Memorial and a stroll in Hyde Park. Following directions from the London Birders Wiki Site we braved the squawking Parakeets and located the favoured roost tree of one of the  local  Tawny Owls. The Owl was not to be found despite checking several other likely looking trees. and speaking to some other people who were doing the same as us. We then headed to the Serpentine where we saw Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Canada,  Greylag  and Egyptian Geese, and plenty of Black-headed Gulls. The target here where the two Bearded Tits that have been performing for the crowds for the last couple of weeks. As we approached we could see one of the birds on the top of the reeds. Despite the wind we watched them both feeding on the swaying reeds, just a few feet away and totally at ease with the nearby watchers. As with the Waxwings there was a lot of interest from passers-by  who were stopping to find out what we were all looking at. All this with the London Eye and the Shard in the background. The birds disappeared out of sight into the bottom of the reeds so we retired to the Lido Cafe for a warming bowl of soup. £5.50 with a chunk of Granary Bread, it comes highly recommended. After another quick look at the Bearded Tits we headed back across Hyde Park for a look at the shops in Kensington before heading back to Osterley for the evening. If  anyone is interested in the birds in Hyde Park then have a look at this blog.

8 responses to “Capital Birds

  1. Richard Williams

    Sounds like a good trip Malcolm. Any sign of the mandarin and the egyptian geese in Hyde Park? Its where I ticked them last year.and will have to add bearded tit to the Wanteds next time I’m up there. I was south of Newbury today – Ashmansworth and Faccombe. Superb views from the ridge and birding highlights including a flock of some 200 fieldfare and at one point 10 red kites all together – don’t think I have seen so many.

    • It was most enjoyable despite the keen wind. Had Egyptian but not Mandarin. Hopefully we will be getting Red Kite like that in Wiltshire soon.

  2. What some great birds to see in The Smoke! All I ever see when I visit my daughter in Colliers Wood are the ubiquitous Parakeets! She’s moving to leafy Surbiton next week so our fortunes may change…
    Myself, Wayne Clinch and Dave Brotheridge made a late afternoon visit to the Everleigh area of Salisbury Plain and managed to see 2 – possibly 3 SEO’s and a ring-tailed Hen Harrier. Plus several Ravens and the usual Buxxards and Kestrels; not a bad 2 hours birding!!

    • There is some great birding to be had in London and most of it is easy to get to. I haven’t been to Everleigh yet this year so haven’t seen the Buxxards yet.

      • They’re easy to ID they fly with a Wiltshire accent 😉 There is a small river near my daughters flat at Colliers Wood and we do occasionally see Grey Wagtail there – and a Grey Heron once….her new flat is a short journey from Hampton Court and the Thames so should be more interesting [also from a dragonfly viewpoint during the summer!]

      • Bushey Park will be nearby as well, some good birding there.

      • Oh, right! Thanks for the tip.

  3. Buxxard is the Wiltshire sub-species of Buzzard – in case you were wondering ;o))

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