A cetti's wonderland! (1 Viewer)

I like beautifully sunny spring days in England! The sun makes you feel chipper, there's a spring in your step (no pun intended!), and the birds are singing their little hearts out: I ask you, what could more lovely than that?

I decided on giving the London Wetland Centre a visit on Saturday. It seems that the various references to the centre on the previous weekend's Boat Race seems to have made many more people than normal turn up, as the place was heaving with young families and people who seemingly have never "done" nature! I lost count of the number of times that people bumped into me (not looking where they were going), walked past someone pushing a pushchair while shouting down their mobile phone, or someone walking in front of me as I am looking through my binoculars; Sartre's comment about hell being other people could not have been more apposite at that moment!

But despite my somewhat premature middle-aged grumpiness :-O I had a wonderful day's birding. Loads of Sand Martins flying over the water and going into their burrows, plenty of waterfowl and gulls, a good number of Grey Herons (including one that took about five minutes to eat a rather large frog - it didn't seem to know quite what to do with it, with the frog hanging from its beak and twitching every now and then. Finally the Heron took it down), and plenty of singing passerines.

Out of that latter group, by far the best for me was the Cetti's Warblers :t:. I heard a number of them singing around the whole centre, but I managed to see two of them over the course of the day, which made them the first lifer of the day's procedings. I think I also saw my first ever Willow Warbler, but the thing just would not sing (a female perhaps?) - I had heard a Willow Warbler sing from that general area a few minutes earlier, but had also heard a Chiffchaff, so who knows...

The end of the day also brought me my second lifer of the day, when one of the guys with a scope in the Peacock Tower pointing out a Yellow Wagtail, which was nice.

I also saw my first ever London Buzzard soaring high above the city too.

Also seen were Little Ringed Plover, Lapwings, Cormorant, Ring-necked Parakeet, Blackcap, and plenty of the more common species of ducks, geese, and passerines.

Quick update on lists:
Life list is now on 116 with those two additions on Saturday.
My London list has not had a lot of action recently, but Saturday's birding raised the total up to 89 (with Buzzard, Cetti's, and Yellow Wagtail being added to it).
My 2010 Year List is on 96, which isn't bad as we are just three months' into the year and I saw 105 species in the whole of last year.
 

Stoggler

Getting to grips with young gulls
Yeah, have heard them! Usually along the North Wall. Not seen them there myself, but others have :)
 

Monahawk

Well-known member
The reed beds at the Ferry Long Pool and the Severals are good places for them if my memory serves me well. Well worth checking out.

Si.
 

Stoggler

Getting to grips with young gulls
Cheers Si

Have just posted a message on the Sussex Birding thread asking about that side of the harbour - I usually go to the North Wall and Lagoon areas and am not familiar with the Church Norton area
 

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