Saturday 14 March 2020


Ingrid and I were due to be off to Georgia tomorrow so I came up to my parents' a day early and caught up with Kevin McManus at Creekmouth - a prospective new patch for him. As we searched for somewhere to park, I was glad I was out of London. I don't use the term lightly: the industrial area was desolate.

However, this switched to nostalgia and a little patch envy when we actually entered the little park at Creekmouth. It's a perfect little oasis: a tiny but high quality pocket of habitat (scrub and a reedbed) alongside the River Thames with wide views and relative peace and quiet. It's the sort of place you can be confident you've found every migrant on site merely by walking to the viewpoint and back, you can scan through gulls and waders, watch for raptors and small migrants overhead, and be in prime position for displaced seabirds flying along the Thames. In short, all round birding from one bench.

Today's visit was short but we saw the juvenile Iceland Gull which has been frequenting the area, and a creamcrown Marsh Harrier flew through low, while three Peregrines were good value. Other stuff included singles of Curlew, Oystercatcher, Redshank and Cetti's Warbler, 38 Teal, 36 Shelducks and 20 Gadwall, as well as a leucistic Black-headed Gull (I think this bird is known locally).

2cy Iceland Gull

Marsh Harrier

adult Peregrine