Monday, 7 May 2012

Ring Ouzel in Greenwich

Ring Ouzel, Greenwich Peninsula, 7/5/2012

Oystercatcher, Greenwich Peninsula, 7/5/2012

I tend to get a little bit anal about my lower Lea yearlist, especially if, as is usually the case, other people have seen more that me, so every now and then I like to take excursions to see other birds, Across the Thames from the basin and about a mile downstream is Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park, a Trust for Urban Ecology (TRUE) reserve, since April 28th it has hosted a female Ring Ouzel, so I decided to go and have a look at it. It's been a few years since I ventured onto the Greenwich peninsula, plenty of development has been taking place including the soon to be opened cable car across the Thames, a totally pointless project that has restricted access to the Thames path where the cable cars dock, a detour inland around the hangerlike structure of Soccerworld (formerly the David Beckham football academy)  is required; The Jubilee Line from Canning Town to North Greenwich performs the same function, presumably at a fraction of the price. The Millennium Village is now the size of a small town with pretentious street names like Mudlarks Boulevard and expensive coffee shops conveniently sited next to mortgage brokers should you fancy a mug of skinny latte. The one constant in this world of change is the ecology park, Joanne is still the warden and Tony is still the assistant warden; it's a cracking place with breeding Little Grebe and Common Tern and enough variety of habitat to ensure that interesting species turn up with some regularity; I had the place virtually to myself and I found the Ring Ouzel feeding on the northern bank of the reserve within seconds of entering the east hide; it showed well but just out of camera range, so the record shot above is the best I could do. It's been here nine days now, a very long stay for a spring migrant which just goes to show how bad the weather has been to keep it here this long. The reserve was alive with warbler song including a Sedge Warbler, at least three Reed Warblers, a Blackcap and two Common Whitethroats; an Oystercatcher was feeding on the rising tide and a single Swallow flew north.

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