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Wednesday, 21 October 2009

River Thames from 24th to 30th July 2009

We took our boat down to the Thames, and spent five days cruising from Chertsey (Surrey), through the centre of London to approximartelt miles beyond the Thames Flood Barrier, then through Windsor to Bray, then back to Chertsey. We saw a few brids on the way too! I was at first excited by the Ring-necked Parakeets, but as the cruise progressed I got more and more concerned about their numbers. I was also quite surprised to see so many Mandarins. We had a great time, and will probably take our boat to the Thames again next year.
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Great Crested Grebe
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Cormorant
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Grey Heron
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Mute Swan
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Canada Goose
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Egyptian Goose
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Egyptians are not my favourite bird, on a number of counts, but the variation in plumage is interesting. They were everywhere!
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Mandarin
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I was really suprised by the Mandarins on two counts - firstly because there were so many of them, and secondly because they weren't as timid as the ones we find in the Midlands (which will take to the air if you get within 300 metres!). As I am not too familiar with these birds, I have difficuly in sorting out adult females, from eclipse drakes, from juveniles. I think that I was seeing some of each, but I'm not to sure about the eclipse drakes! I'm sorry about the profusion of pictures, but I do find them charming birds.
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Mallard
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Tufted Duck (female)
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Tufted Duck (drake)
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There were not as many 'tufties' around as I thought there might be.
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Black-headed Gull
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The ubiquitous B-h Gull was, as one might expect, seen in some profusion - a token shot to show willing!
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Lesser Black-backed Gull
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There were plenty of LBBGs around on the mud banks exposed by low tide, once we got beyond the Dome.
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Common Tern
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I didn't see as many Common Terns as I exepected to.
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Ring-necked Parakeet
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As mentioned above, I was shocked to see so many of Ring-necks (probably around a thousand in the few days we were in the area). They were all along the Thames between Bray and Brentford. I was woken up by their calls each morning. Sometimes seen singly, but usually in flocks of up to around 50 birds. The last time I saw these in this sort of quantity was in Köln, Germany.
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Green Woodpecker (juvenile)
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I seem fated never to get a decent shot of a Green Woodpecker. This poor effort is the best I have achieved so far!
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Pied Wagtail (juvenile)
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There were lots of Pied Wagtails around during our travels, but the juveniles are rather endearing.
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Grey Wagtail
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I didn't see many of these during my travels that week.

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