It's been a funny old autumn so far, with trips to Pegwell, a complete lack of Goldcrests, a quiet Scilly (glad I'm not there) and some very sunny weather. Still not complaining, I've seen some cracking stuff locally and even near the garden in Northfleet have had Redwings, Chiffy, Sproghawks, and a few Mipits. Sunday 11th I found myself at Northfleet next the Thames that little known seaside resort complete with car park, shops, and a good place to view the Thames. I'd got a call that Paul larking had seen a Manx Shearwater pass Cliffe heading up river and I was in position ready to intercept this great little seabird close to home. The other reason was that Northfleet is the outermost limit of the London Natural History Societys' recording area, ie 20miles from St Paul's. By a stroke of luck the bird appeared and I duly snapped it, my 250th LNHS bird. With the powers of modern technology others were in waiting further up the Thames but the trail had gone cold, very cold until Andy Lawson indicated he's found it off Swanscombe!!! Excellent news and John Archer was ready at Crossness for this avian delight.......Nope, a GBB had taken a liking to a Manx munch and set about killing the bird and eating it a sad end to an epic voyage in the Thames.
News late on the afternoon of Oct 12th was incredible in that a first winter Shrike had been re identified as a Brown Shrike, a mega in the UK and for me a UK lifer and useful bird to see and study for future reference. 1200 Oct 13th and the Vectra was off heading West to Staines Moor a mere 56 miles away. On parking the car I noted the name of the pub, rather apt I thought.A good bird to see and a good call from an ID point of view from a brave man indeed.
It was good to see that West London is just as picturesque as East London
The carefully sited sign and map of the area well suited to dwarf and those unable to look upwards!
The Shrike paparazzi, and a man photographing a fish
Chris Collins and trademark jumper(surely not the same one from the 90's) looks intently on at the river assessing it's suitability as a staring point for another seabird spectacular pelagic..............QUITE
Batman scores a lifer
Mike and co peruse the bird in the glorious sunny weather
Is it a bird is a plane............................NO RN Parakeet, rare if you live up North and for some I expect that day another lifer. They should live in Thanet !! hordes of them.