Sunday, 1 January 2012

London -January 1st 2012

Hello and welcome to 2012. This year's first blog comes from London, where I have just seen the new year in with my wife and daughter.

This year's first bird was seen at 00.01hours when several Feral Pigeons were disturbed by the firework display and flew overhead in Trafalgar Square. The next birds had to wait until first light when a Carrion Crow was spotted flying outside the hotel window. Other birds that quickly followed were Magpie and Woodpigeon.

After checking out of the hotel we took the underground to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park where we had a short walk down to the Sepentine. The first bird we heard was a Ring-necked Parakeet, a common resident in south east England whose numbers have increased greatly to several thousand over the last few years.

Ring-necked Parakeet

A Blackbird was heard singing in the same area and Blue and Long-tailed Tits were also seen. Walking down to the water we soon spotted a pair of Great-crested Grebes, Mallards, Coots, Moorhens, Mute Swans, Canada, Greylag, Egyptian Goose and this strange looking hybrid; most likely a Canada/Greylag Goose mixture.

Greylag Goose (front bird) and hybrid

Egyptian Goose

There were several gull species around as well. The majority were Black-headed Gulls, with a couple of Common Gulls and Herring Gulls as well as a single Lesser Black-backed Gull.

The last bird of the day was a Grey Heron that was sat quietly by a small lake.

Grey Heron

A few years ago I started "year listing" which involves listing all birds seen within the space of a calendar year. I haven't done it for a while now as it can become quite frustrating, but I thought it would be interesting to note down all the new birds I see this year just in the course of my normal birding and ringing. Here goes:

1 - Feral Pigeon
2 - Carrion Crow
3 - Magpie
4 - Ring-necked Parakeet
5 - Blackbird
6 - Blue Tit
7 - Long-tailed Tit
8 - Great-crested Grebe
9 - Mallard
10 - Coot
11 - Moorhen
12 - Mute Swan
13 - Canada Goose
14 - Greylag Goose
15 - Egyptian Goose
16 - Black-headed Gull
17 - Common Gull
18 - Herring Gull
19 - Lesser Black-backed Gull
20 - Grey Heron

Not a bad start for just a few hours in the centre of a major city.

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