Friday, 24 February 2012

Iceland in London

Gulls galore at Beddington: spot the first-winter Iceland.
This very white second-winter Iceland Gull stayed on the far side of the lake.
Despite numerous gulling sessions along the Thames this winter, and finding them in Scotland and Ireland, I've yet to run into an Iceland Gull in London since January's nationwide influx. So there was only one thing for it today: a trip across town to Beddington, the Iceland Gull capital of the South-East - up to six individuals (including a first-winter Kumlien's) have been seen so far, along with a couple of Glaucous Gulls and a few thousand other larids. Beddington is a pain in the neck to get to from north London, but it was well worth the trip around the M25 - I caught up with first-winter and second-winter individuals in good time on the main lake, and while watching them I enjoyed the increasingly rare soundtrack of chattering Tree Sparrows to keep me company. Beddington is not only their last remaining London stronghold, but also a nationally important site for this declining species. Many thanks to Johnny Allan for his help on site.

Beddington is nationally important for its thriving Tree Sparrow colony.


2 comments:

  1. I had a thoroughly enjoyable morning at Beddington two weeks ago. I managed to get great views of the Glaucous, Iceland and Kumlien's Gulls, and, of course, the Tree Sparrows. The guys over there are always so helpful and enthusiastic. Always full of surprises - the Great White Egret yesterday would have been a Surrey first had I been there! Top site

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  2. With Beddington in the 'county overlap' zone, that egret would have been a London first for me too! Hoped it might reappear, but no such luck. I've always found the local bird group helpful too, and I suspect many a birder has added Iceland Gull to their local (and maybe even life) lists there this winter.

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