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