Sunday, July 10, 2011

Acton Park and London Wetland Centre

This morning was spent wandering around Acton Park collecting up as many proof-of-breeding records as I could to whack into BirdTrack. Amongst the expected stuff, a family of Mallard and a family of Moorhen were on the tiny pond at the bottom end of the park. The Moorhens were on to their second brood, judging by the full-grown juvenile that was also pottering around the pond.

This afternoon I headed off to the other side of the river to Barnes WWT wetland centre. It was generally quite quiet with a female Peregrine and a plethora of Coot being the highlights. That said, the site is only 20 minutes from here and is definitely worth visiting more often.

Plenty of Pochard and Tufted Duck around the place, too; lots with broods.

Also some dragonflies and damselflies. Here's a female Emperor egg-laying:

And a Six-spot Burnet moth:

The captive stuff is always worth a look. Mega trio:

Call me a pedant, but should these really be in the Icelandic pen?

And I think this might be a new species for me:

That's to say I've never set eyes on one before, full set of primaries of otherwise.


Also at the wetland centre were some Woodpigeons. Here's an 'interesting' bird...

I sketched its right wing.

I guess it's more of a representative diagram than a sketch, but anyway, it turned out to be a bit of a waste since photos showed exactly the same thing. It's nice to be oldskool with a proper physical notebook though, right?

To decipher my scribbles and explain what the photo shows:-
There are two generations of primaries; p9-6 are old; p5 is growing (just visible beyond the secondaries); p4 is new and probably in the last stages of growth; and p3 is new, probably fully grown. After that the primaries are hidden under the secondaries, but we can safely assume that they're all new, too.
There are three generations of secondaries; s1 is, I suspect, old - it looked darker than the neighbouring feathers and gave the impression of being newer but this could be because of its more protected position; s2-3 are (also) old; s4 is new and probably fully grown, or nearly so; s5 is new and still growing; s6 is very old (pale brown, short, and frayed around the edges); p7-8 are old.
If what I said the other day is to believed, that should make this individual a 3cy.

1 comment:

ebirder said...

Hi - have added you to my blogroll
Cheers, Marcus