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Saturday, October 05, 2019

October starts on a slow note

Not a migrant fest at the start of October

It has been very quiet over the first 5 days of October. However yesterday morning is one of those moments you are unlikely to forget (see below). On the commoner migrant species front there are still over a dozen Chiffchaffs present and a few Blackcaps. There are 2 Cetti's Warblers in the Wetland Pen possibly birds from areas 2 and 3 where they bred this year, a new breeding record for the park.On those mornings with a hint of blue skies Meadow Pipits have moved through on the first over 250 birds passed through prior to 9.30am. Swallows have been recorded on 2 dates but only 5 birds. Of resident or almost resident depending on the weather, 2 or 3 Grey Wagtails are still feeding around the parks water bodies. A pair of Great crested Grebe's that I knew nothing about have a chick of around 5 days of age and there is still a pair on the NE end of Heron Island that has yet to hatch the eggs she's sitting on. A Kingfisher had been reported to me and I was fortunate enough to be in the Wetland Pen when it was hunting sticklebacks. 

I was on my way to refresh the drinking pool in the Wetland Pen and as I hadn't heard or seen much in the preceding 30 minutes I decided to leave my camera in the car as there was nowhere to leave it without it getting wet and mucky. As I got alongside the Triangle Pen I picked up 2 low flying Swallows heading towards me from the direction of London Zoo. They passed within 20 metres of me and I regretted not having my camera with me. I know they aren't rare or unusual but how many low flying Swallows have you seen in Central London? Next I heard a Meadow Pipit and finding one of them in blue skies can be difficult. This one I picked up quite easily, however something over the western side caught my attention. It looked dark but at that range most things do, it's flight action was the clincher, slightly reminiscent of a Fieldfare, as it headed more in a SE direction I could see it was black, a Ring Ouzel bugger, know camera. I became even more frustrated when it veered to the south west and headed my my. I didn't move as the bird suddenly dropped into the Triangle Pen but where was it. The as I moved slightly closer to the pen it popped into one of the clumps of gorse and sat looking at me, a stonking male Ring Ouzel know more than 25 metres away. I daren't move and allowed the bird to make the next move, which it soon did retreating into the middle of the gorse. Do I stay or do I go and get my camera. Paths run alongside two sides of the Triangle Pen and at that time of the day it busy with commuters and dog walkers. I chose to go for my camera and wasn't that far away I heard the characteristic call of a Ring Ouzel, the male blasted out of the pen and headed towards area 41 where it appeared to drop down. I managed to get these record shots just as the grey clouds moved, they remained for the rest of the day. As I was dropping off some rubbish in the Leaf Yard later that morning I thought it was worth looking in the Chat Enclosure, well I hadn't quite got there when I saw the Ring Ouzel heading west and out of sight.

Why did the Ring Ouzel drop down into the Triangle Pen, the answer is in the above picture, Rowan berries there is good crop of berries this year.

This is a Willow Emerald Damselfy, the species was first recorded in the park last year and I saw my first two weeks ago. It was in the same general area but was it the same one?

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