I’ve just come back from a family wedding in London, but being the relentless birder I am I managed to notch up four year ticks while I was there…
The first was a nice peregrine over Westminster, cruising close to Big Ben. You wonder how many of these brilliant raptors pass over the throngs below without a single person noticing. I also visited St James Park, and really wished the red-crested pochards, mandarins and barnacle geese they have there weren’t such untickable captives!
On Friday I managed to persuade my long-suffering girlfriend that we should visit Richmond Park, which turned out to be a much longer tube and bus journey from where we were staying that I originally thought. My target was ring-necked parakeets, and several showed minutes after we finally entered the park, and proved to be a noisy and colourful sight as we walked through. It’s lucky for me they were such charismatic birds and well worth the journey!
Also in the park was another year tick in the shape of a green woodpecker, and various other birds along the route included Egyptian geese, pochards, treecreepers, nuthatches and jays. There was also an impressive herd of red deer in the park.
Finally on the way home today we got good views of a red kite while driving up the A1 near Rutland Water. I probably wouldn’t have got such an impressive tally of year ticks if I’d gone out proper birding over the weekend!