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Friday, September 26, 2014

26th September

Bushy Park.


The Scrape viewed from DH Passage

I spent much of the day removing vegetation from the scrape so that there was more open areas. The aim to try and attract some winter ducks, possibly the odd Snipe or 2 and to allow those that view it from Dukes Head Passage a better chance of bumping into something.

While I was there today I saw;

Red Kite: one flew west mobbed by squawking flock of parakeets. The Kite was probably deaf by the time they got bored of mobbing him.

Common Buzzard: one flew in from the west and dropped into the line of oaks that run east to west.

Hobby: I had a couple of brief sightings of birds flying at tree top height along the river. The cool blustery conditions meant that flying insects were few.

Sparrowhawk & Kestrel: I had several sightings of both species, with one Kestrel hovering above me while I tried to take a photo of a Stonechat. I wondered why the chat suddenly took refuge in a nearby Hawthorn.

Tree Pipit: one flew west at 11.30am.

Meadow Pipit: 14 mainly single birds headed west.

Grey Wagtail: 3 fly overs.

Blackcap & Chiffchaff: at least 8 of each species were feeding in the scrub by the entrance from Dukes Head Passage into the park.


It is a shame that he isn’t agile enough to catch these pests.



One second she is on show the next she’s off to a nearby tree.




Once the Kestrel had moved off, she returned to a prominent position.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

23rd September

Here are some skulls that were retrieved from a Peregrine cache site in SW London. An Avocet was also found with these but unfortunately is with the finder.


23rd September

Regent’s Park

Hobby: 3 single birds 2 very high birds headed north and another lingered for over 10 mins at 1.30pm.

Peregrine Falcon: one was stooped at by the later Hobby.

Swallow: over 24 birds trickled through.

House Martin: 8 were over the lake.

Yellow Wagtail: one was on the open spaces for over 10 minutes.

Grey Wagtail: 5 birds flew through, 2 others were around the lake.

Meadow Pipit: 18 flew south-west.

Wheatear: 2 were on the open spaces from 9.00am until at least 3.00pm.

Chiffchaff and Blackcaps: birds are still present in small numbers.





Monday, September 22, 2014

22nd September

Bushy Park

I started the day here today, although I was kept up to date with news on whether yesterdays Yellow-browed Warbler had be relocated. Unfortunately there was no sign of the bird although pretty much everything else that was seen in yesterday location was still present. The only bird of note that I saw in Bushy Park was a Whinchat, which was my first of the autumn, It was in the overgrown paddock just west of the Iron Bridge. It just goes to show that I have been working to hard to look. Every other green space has had possibly record years. I did see a handful of Swallows and Meadow Pipits passing over plus 2 Grey Wagtails by Roaring Arch.

I have been carrying out some work on the scrape to increase the chance of seeing something interesting from Dukes Head Passage.

Regent’s Park

Before I left Bushy Pk I had been told that we had our rarest chat the Stonechat showing well, yes you’ve guessed it showing well in the Chat Bush. I must plant a shrike bush to see if we can entice one of them to drop in. As I pulled into the park a birder from the Twickenham area that had popped in hoping to see the YB Warbler informed that there was still no sign but the Stonechat was showing well. I continued on to the area 36 and it soon popped into view. While watching him several Swallows and Meadow Pipits flew through.







Sunday, September 21, 2014

21st September

I returned home from 2 days in Norfolk having done no birding what so ever. These home improvements are causing me to miss some good birding opportunities.

I hate doing it just in case a lifer has turned up in Norfolk and I am nowhere near it, but when I checked the RBA I was shocked to read Yellow-browed Warbler Regent’s Park. I then listened to my voicemails, Birdman Euston had seen a warbler in an area with no public access. He has been told before not to enter this area but I might forgive him this time(please remember that it is an offence to enter the area, which does have a police presence). His message stated that he had seen a bird that may have been a Greenish Warbler but when calling sounded like a Yellow-browed. I then phoned Dave, who said “ where are you, get up here quick”. I was there within 5 minutes and after about 15 anxious minutes had located the bird with a few tits and a couple of Chiffchaffs. It then returned to it favourite area that is shown on the photo. It is best to stand back from the fence to allow yourself a wider viewing area and also so that you do not disturb the bird. 


I could pretend that this is the bird, unfortunately it isn’t, I thought I would just show you what a gem this species is. I am still camera less and am just praying that it is repaired before my Scilly adventure in just under 2 weeks.


The red circle is the tree that the bird favours

Monday, September 15, 2014

15th September

Bushy Park


The entrance to Dukes Head Passage from the park. The area of scrub to the right of the gate is very good for passerines.

Common Buzzard: 1 possibly 2 in Oaks viewed from Dukes Head Passage.

Hobby: several birds hawking insects over the meadow.

Swallow: 12 flew east at 7.25am.

Meadow Pipit: one in the meadow.

Sedge Warbler: one by the sharp bend in the river along Dukes Head Passage.

Reed Warbler: one feeding in Sallows DHP.

Chiffchaff: 14 along the western boundary.

Regent’s Park

Common Buzzard: 2 thermaling high over the park at 3.25pm before moving of fast eastwards in a long glide.

Swallow: 20 flew west at 3.30pm.

Chiffchaff: 8 in the area 39.


This Hornet made quick work of this little creature, there wasn’t much left for me to ID it by.



This Leech was a bit of a whopper



Friday, September 12, 2014

12th September

Regent’s Park

This afternoon I had an hour to kill before I had to collect my wife from work so chose to spend it skywatching. It looked promising for seeing a raptor or two apart from the fact that the clouds were circling the park. I had the misfortune of looking at clear blue skies, not ideal. There were birds moving but they were gulls, ferals and a handful of House Martins.

At 2.34 I picked up 2 very high large raptors. It was obvious that they were buzzards but not the same species. One had level, straighter longer looking wings, unlike the other bird which was soaring with wings in bowl shaped and angled upwards, which is typical of Common Buzzard. They then moved away from each other, so I watched what I believed was a Honey. The other bird briefly came in to view and above them and much higher, even though these birds were high was a skua.  I thought I would keep an eye on the Honey and try and contact Dave. Looking through the scope, trying to find his number was difficult. The bird was over the park but in the clear blue sky. His phone rang and rang but I he didn’t answer (I just found out it didn’t ring at his end). While doing this I lost the bird for about 30 seconds but luckily latched on to it again. In the clear sky I was able to see that it was a dark juvenile. This is the first time that I have skywatched in the park since my position in The Royal Parks changed.

Honey Buzzard: a juvenile flew east at 2.35pm.

Common Buzzard: one drifted north at 2.35pm.

Skua sp: a very high bird was seen briefly at 2.40pm

Whinchat: one flew over the Open Spaces at 2.55pm.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

10th September

Regent’s Park

Swallow: 10 flew SW this afternoon.

House Martin: 6 flew SW. 

Yellow Wagtail: one flew west.

Grey Wagtail:

Northern Wheatear: one was on the Cricket Squares this morning.

Blackcap: 3 in the Old Golf & Tennis School, area 39.

Chiffchaff: 6 in area 39.

Willow Warbler: 1 with the Chiffchaffs.

Spotted Flycatcher: 3 in trees just east of area 39.



Two of the 3 flycatchers in area 39.



Monday, September 08, 2014

8th September

Bushy Park

Common Buzzard: 2 roosting in Oaks in the Brewhouse Meadow, viewable from Dukes Head Passage.

Hobby: 2 birds also viewable from Dukes Head Passage.

Green Sandpiper: one heard flying but not seen because of mist close to but not on the Scrape.

Meadow Pipit: 14 flew west in one flock.

Richmond Park

Common Buzzard: one was soaring over the middle road at 9.50am.

Kingfisher: one flew over Pen Ponds.

Regent’s Park

Common Buzzard: one drifted slowly NE at 2.05pm.

Swallow: 12 flew through, some heading south others going north. These birds were very high indeed meaning that there were probably a lot more that went unseen.

Whinchat: 3 on Chat Bush area 36.

Meadow Pipit: 6 flew west.

Yellow Wagtail: one flew SW.


The early morning misty really shows how many spiders are present.


Common Buzzard Richmond Park


Whinchats in Regent’s Park on and around the Chat Bush






Wednesday, September 03, 2014

3rd September

Bushy Park

I started out here today in overcast conditions. The sun tried to break through several times but was beaten back by the cloud until lunchtime.

I popped to look for the Hobby’s but the light was poor. There were less migrants on show in the area today, the adult Hobby flew past  allowing me to get a record shot.

While here I had a couple of texts from Regent’s Park, one was a report of a juv Cuckoo in area 20, which was apparently scared off by a child screaming. There was also a Whinchat on the chat bush and a female/juv Bullfinch in Queen Mary’s Gardens.

Spotted Flycatcher: 2 in area 17 for their 2nd day; 1 in area 39 and another in area 41.



This stag must have been tarting himself up ready for the rut, he also bellowed a few times.





Regent’s Park


I planted the chat bush hoping to attract this group of birds to the park. They have been very successful, although Stonechat is still a rare visitor.




When I got to the park in the afternoon there were 2 Whinchats.