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Curlew over London

After picking Pat, Chinyere and Yolanda up in Earls Court early doors for a part-day London birding tour, we arrived at Beddington Park last Saturday to be greeted by a Grey Wagtail feeding in the car park and the sound of a Goldcrest singing high in a pine tree, while Ring-necked Parakeets made themselves obvious. A quick look at the lake revealed a juvenile Little Grebe alongside the Coots, Tufted Ducks and Mallards.

Grey Wagtail. Guided London birding tours with Wildstarts.
Grey Wagtail parading around the car park

A mixed flock of Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits passed through the trees as we walked through to Beddington Farmlands. The path alongside the southern lake continued to deliver with views of Great Spotted Woodpecker, a brood of Reed Warblers, Blackcaps, Greenfinches and Goldfinches.

Great Spotted Woodpecker. Guided London birding tours with Wildstarts.
Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker

A small flock of Gadwall flew over as we made our way to view the north lake, while Swifts zoomed around in front of the incinerator.


Much more of a surprise was a flock of five Curlew which headed south-west over the path, a scarce sighting in the area!

Curlew. Guided London birding tours with Wildstarts.
A surprise fly-over record in south London -- here's four of the five Curlew over Beddington

The next hide was productive, with Little Ringed Plover and a few Lapwings on the shore of the main island. A female Pochard was loafing nearby with her brood of ducklings. A Cetti's Warbler sang in front of the hide and gave a couple of quick glimpses while a Skylark sang high in the sky.

Lapwing. Guided London birding tours with Wildstarts.
Lapwing
Pochard. Guided London birding tours with Wildstarts.
Pochard with ducklings in tow

Driving through Worcester Park, we added Pied Wagtail to the trip list.


Richmond Park was our next stop and proved very productive. After hearing a couple of Green Woodpeckers, one conveniently landed in view in an oak tree. Soon afterwards, we tracked down a family of Treecreepers that had us spinning on our feet as they moved between the trees!

Green Woodpecker. Guided London birding tours with Wildstarts.
Green Woodpecker
Treecreeper. Guided London birding tours with Wildstarts.
Treecreeper

Pen Ponds offered up a Common Tern, a fly-over Red Kite, a couple of Reed Buntings and a distant Great Crested Grebe. Two Kestrels mobbed a Buzzard over the trees at the back and a few Sand Martins flew through while a family of Egyptian Geese rested in the shore.

Common Tern. Guided London birding tours with Wildstarts.
Common Tern patrolling Pen Ponds
Red Kite. Guided London birding tours with Wildstarts.
Red Kite
Reed Bunting. Guided London birding tours with Wildstarts.
Reed Bunting deep in the bracken

The route back delivered even more treats, with a low-flying Hobby, another view of a Green Woodpecker and a mixed tit flock that had Nuthatches and Coal Tits tagging along, with a family of Kestrels nearby. Swifts and Swallows hawked over the canopy.

Hobby. Guided London birding tours with Wildstarts.
This Hobby flew low over the Isabella Plantation

With 62 species logged, it was a rather good summer London Birding Mini-Trip!



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