Friday, 31 May 2013
Thursday, 16 May 2013
The sessions from atop the Tower started amid little fuss or pomp three weeks ago on April 23rd. We quietly ascended the stairs that link the last elevator stop to the roof to be greeted by sunny skies and luke warm temperatures. Our sum total was meagre. Aside from the usual Lesser Black-backs and Herring Gulls a migrant Meadow Pipit was of interest. Our first spring record.
The next session on May 1st was an improvement. A showy Sparrowhawk drifting high above Heron Tower to the north, a spectacularly diving Peregrine first seen way over Shooters Hill to the east and a Common Buzzard directly overhead heading west provided the brief excitement.
This has been a slow spring with seemingly frequent colder snaps. Thus not too many reports of raptors overflying the capital were reported. Today's session resulted in our first ever Marsh Harrier and ringtail Hen Harrier for the location. Both birds were in loose association, at least they were in the same area of sky. The Marsh Harrier - a male - was the first to be seen as it drifted perhaps 200 feet above our heads. As we traced it heading west it was then that we realised that there were actually three birds involved. One was the ringtail, clearly displaying a white rump band and seeming too bulky to be either a Montagu's or an even less likely Pallid Harrier. The identity of the third bird was never established.
Not a bad day in the office - or to be more accurate - on the office. Spring is springing.
Sunday, 16 September 2012
We concentrated our collective observational efforts to the north and northeast. We were rewarded by several distant unidentified raptors including a Goshawk-type raptor seen all too briefly before it dipped down below the tree line at Epping Forest to be lost forever.
A pair of Peregrines dogfighting presumably over Ilford were amazing to watch as they talon clasped. Another bird was perched rather more sedentarily on the Tate Modern. Two or three seperate Sparrowhawks entertained whilst being mobbed by crows including a bird that drifted very high over from the north heading southeast.
The most fabulous sight was the five Common Buzzards that were picked up high above us as they neared Tower 42 airspace. As they majestically rode the thermals we all thought why couldn't they have been Honey Buzzards........
The next session will be on Friday 21st September. Let's hope for good conditions.
Saturday, 8 September 2012
We had a very small team so we concentrated on looking to the north and east. We were rewarded by a possible Red Kite drifting low over the Olymic Village, around 2 Common Buzzards, 2 Sparrowhawks and a Kestrel.
A few unidentified hirundines flew south past Canary Wharf and aside from that little else.
It's early days yet.
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Our first autumn watch for 2012 kicked off on Thursday 23rd August to a flying start with at least four Common Buzzards plus our first ever Jackdaws. We had a slight northwesterly wind but that did not stop the 16 T42BSG observers from having a great time searching for migrants.
At one point we were all straining our eyes looking east after receiving a phone call from Howard Vaughan at Rainham telling us that he had just seen a Honey Buzzard and a Black Kite materialise from out of the heavens to briefly grapple with each other. The Black Kite then apparently started to head our way, hence the excitement on our part. However, unbeknown to us the kite did a u-turn and decided to commute between Crayford Marshes and Rainham instead.
Ah well, there will be another!
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Sam Twiddy, founder of the Cabot Tower Bird Study Group points to some pipits Sam Twiddy with David Lindo
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Bright and balmy weather and northeasterly breeze didn’t bring us a river of raptors, but today’s observers atop Tower 42 were treated to several observations of central London’s peregrine falcons. The first was noted perched on the tower of the Tate Modern, where it returned off and on throughout our four-hour session. We spotted a second soaring to the east high above the Tower of London. Later, we picked up another circling above The Barbican before it moved off to the northeast.
The only other birds we picked up using central London’s upper airspace were four cormorants soaring to the north (1+3), and around a dozen lesser black-backed gulls and eight or so herring gulls.
Although the sky was blue, there was a persistent haze looking out horizontally that limited our view into the distance, but even so, little was moving. Perhaps a change in the weather will bring us more action for the next session. Hope springs eternal in the birders breast!
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Thursday, 7 April 2011
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
Friday, 22 October 2010
8:08 1 Peregrine Tate Tower
9:10 200 Black-headed Gull Thames (updated count)
9:20 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls Over Liverpool St. Station
9:40 1 Peregrine (returned to perch) Tate Tower
9:40 1 Mute Swan Thames
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Saturday, 25 September 2010
It was a seemingly grim and foreboding morning that greeted us last Friday when we climbed through the narrow manhole to gain access to the T42 roof. But there was a feeling in the air. We knew that there was the possibility of good movement. We were not disappointed.
24 Sept 2010
low overcast, temp 55, wind NW
Herring Gull 2 6:55
Wood Pigeon 2 6:57
Meadow Pipit 1 7:03 heading south
Black-headed Gull c20 7:18 (Thames)
Mallard 1 7:18 (Thames)
Misc Gull sp. 16 7:30 Black Friars
Carrion Crow 1 7:30
Meadow Pipit 5 7:31 heading south
Meadow Pipit 2 7:35 heading south
Lesser Black-back 3 7:35
Peregrine 1 7:40 (Tate)
LB-bG juv 1 7:43
Meadow Pipit 5 7:45 heading south
Meadow Pipit c10 7:55 heading south
Black-headed Gull c40
Herring Gull 3
Lesser Black-back 1
Great Black-back 2 8:00
Great Black-back 1 8:07
Meadow Pipit 6 8:11 heading south
Meadow Pipit 3 8:20 heading south
Meadow Pipit 4 8:25 heading south
Meadow Pipit 2 8:28 heading south
Sparrowhawk 1 8:31 over Barbican
Common Swift 1 8:49 over PO Tower
Peregrine 2 8:52 Tate
Coot 1 9:00 Thames
Swallow 4 9:00 past Canary Wharf
Meadow Pipit 3 9:27 heading south
Carrion Crow 8 9:33 around helipad
Meadow Pipit 4 9:40 heading south
Meadow Pipit 3 9:44 heading south
Common Tern c15 9:58 together heading up river
Kestrel 1 10:06 right over T42, then down to south
Common Tern 3 10:08 heading up river
Common Tern 2 10:20 up and down south of London Bridge
1 Kestrel (possibly 2)
2 Peregrine (possibly 3)
c60 Black-headed Gull
4 Lesser Black-back
5 Herring Gull
3 Great Black-Back
c20 Common Tern
c48 Meadow Pipit
9 Carrion Crow
370 Black-headed Gulls
7 Lesser Black-backs
12 Herring Gulls
5 Great Black-backs