Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Avocets on the Thames' Foreshore in the Erith area

For personal reasons, we associate Avocets with Suffolk and find it slightly strange to see Avocets locally viz. within the Greater London area.

Today, there were thirteen (13) of them on the Thames' Foreshore, beside the Erith Pier viz.



We have seen the occasional Avocet locally before but invariably single individuals.

Other Birds seen in the vicinity of the Pier: Black-Headed Gulls, Black-Tailed Godwits, a single Common Gull, a Herring Gull, Mallards, Redshanks and Teals.

Earlier, we had seen our first Ringed Plovers of 2019 in their usual spot on the Thames' Foreshore in the Belvedere area.

Footnote: there were three (3) Avocets present Wednesday viz. the next day, nine (9) present on Thursday and seven (7) on Saturday (2 February).

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Of Bees, Birds, Hoverflies and Lichens in the Waterloo area (the London Borough of Lambeth)

Due in the Waterloo area at 14.00 o'clock for a Meeting, we arrived early and looked around to see what we could find in the Grounds of St John's Church, Waterloo (Grid Reference TQ3180).

And we weren't disappointed.

We saw a few Bees (including this assumed Buff-Tailed Bumblebee) viz.


a Hoverfly (Meliscaeva auricollis) viz.


and quite a few birds including Blue Tits, House Sparrows and a Robin viz.




Lichen-wise, we didn't see too many although we did see some (photogenic ones) growing on a tree in Nelson Square (close to the Southwark Underground Railway Station) viz.


A couple of similar Lichens seen growing locally (on Public Pavements) recently

[i] a Caloplaca sp. (possibly either pusilla or saxicola) viz.


[ii]  Xanthoria elegans viz.


Footnote: the more commonly seen, Xanthoria parietina (and others) for comparison purposes viz.


Tuesday, 22 January 2019

A Bonaparte's Gull seen from the Erith Pier

We had read about the Gull but hadn't really intended to go to look for it. However, it was a lovely Sunny day, so we decided to to see if we could find the Ringed Plovers that hang around on the Thames' Foreshore in the Belvedere area. Nothing doing alas.

We walked down to Erith and with the last of the Mud being covered by the Incoming Tide, we made our way to the Pier. Where, as luck would have it, we saw the Bird almost immediately, just below us viz.





We understand this is the Sixth Bonaparte's Gull to be found locally.

A few years back (July-2013), we saw another Bonaparte's Gull swimming in the Thames beside the Outfall of the Crossness Sewage Works: again, just below us viz.



We suspected it might have been a Bonaparte's Gull but needed help with the Identification. See ... https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=261288 ...

Footnote 1: other birds seen during our Walk today included: Black-Tailed Godwits, Gadwalls, a Grey Wagtail (our first of the year), a Lapwing, Mallards, a MoorhenRedshanks, Shelducks viz.


and Teals.

Footnote 2: some Lichens seen beside the Thames Path:




Monday, 21 January 2019

We visit the Poplar Dock Marina (East London)

A first visit. We had read that the Poplar Dock Marina supports a 'very large population of Jersey Cudweed' so decided to see for ourselves, and Yes, it most certainly does viz.


We understand that the Marina also supports populations of Slender Sandwort, Rue-Leaved Saxifrage (seen today) and Musk Stork's-Bill.

Some flowering Hebes prompted us to look for Bees, Flies and Hoverflies. No Bees but a few Flies and Hoverflies, namely a couple of Meliscaeva auricollises viz.



Birds seen included:

Black-Headed Gulls viz.


Canada Geese with an assumed Hybrid Canada/Greylag Goose viz.


Coots
a Great Crested Grebe viz.


House Sparrows viz.


at least two Mallards
at least one Moorhen
and Tufted Ducks viz.


Wild Flower-wise, we also noticed what we assumed to be White Stonecrop viz.


Herb Robert (flowering) viz.


Narrow-Leaved Ragwort
and most pleasing of all, Skullcap viz.


We shall (God Willing) most certainly be visiting again in the next few months.

The Moon turns Orange

The Eclipse ~ 21 January 2019

[i] at 03.32 am...


[ii] at 03.52 am... 


[iii] at 04.10 am...


[iv] at 04.38 am...


And then, with perfect timing, the Moon disappeared behind the Clouds!!!!!

But then: on the off-chance, we popped out into the Garden at 05.05 am (it was bloomin' Chilly): the Clouds were gone and the Moon was visible again viz.


Somehow, all a bit of an anti-climax.

And then to Bed…

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Lichens in the Regent's Park (the Park with a Zoo)

Due in Devonshire Place at 13.00 o'clock for a Meeting, we managed twenty minutes or so in the nearby Regent's Park.

All a bit of a Rush but we managed to find a few Lichens viz.