Birder's Eye View

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Across the Pond

London is full of surprises. Just yesterday I was wondering when I'd ever have time to go birding, when little did I know that today I would find myself strolling through Hyde Park. Spontaneity is the name of the game here; at home I'm usually fairly organized and know what I'm doing from one day to the next, but here you kind of just throw a dart at a map and go.

As it were, today was one of the coldest days since I've been here. A few snow flurries here and there, but by midday it was just frigid and sunny out. I saw a bunch of the usual birds -- Pigeons, Magpies, and a Blackbird -- until we got closer to the lake, when I saw what looked like a woodpecker on a tree.

It was far away, but after snapping a few pictures, it was unmistakeable: a Green Woodpecker!
  
There were also tons of Black-headed Gulls, and some familiar North American waterbirds as well, including Canada Geese, Mallards and Moorhens.


Another fun lifer was the Great-crested Grebe. There were only a few of these in the pond, but they were very noticeable.

There were lots of these Red-crested Pochards as well, along with Tufted Ducks, Coots, and Northern Shovelers.

There were plenty of White-fronted Geese as well.

And FINALLY a European Starling in its native region! I've seen plenty of these back home, but it's far more fun to see them here in Europe where the belong.

Hyde Park has no shortage of birds, for sure. I also got to see my lifer Great Tit and Pied Wagtail there, too, unfortunately both of which were too quick and shy to allow for a photo. By then, I was also completely frozen and ready to get back into the warmer tube station and head home.

It was a wonderfully refreshing day though, and a nice escape from the bustling city for a few hours.

Until next time,

Happy birding!

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3 Comments:

  • Niiiiceee!!!! Green Woodpecker, Great-crested Grebe and Pied Wagtail are awesoooommeeee!!!!!!
    You are having waaaay too much fun!!!! :D

    By Blogger Chris W, At February 10, 2010 at 3:00 PM  

  • Awesome photos! I spent a few days in London on a high school trip and was able to sneak out to some city parks. The two I remember being most productive were Hempstead Heath and Regent Park. You should get to witness some migration in these parks when the weather warms. I've heard the UK's winter has been rough! Enjoy any snow you get.

    By Blogger Nick Bonomo, At February 10, 2010 at 3:56 PM  

  • Brilliant =) I remember doing a whiplash-inducing double take when I saw Green Woodpecker, it just doesn't seem right at all! I'd love to go back to London as a birder, I'm sure I missed quite a bit.

    By Blogger heidi, At February 10, 2010 at 6:55 PM  

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