Sunday, January 28, 2007

Black Redstarts in the Docklands

East India Dock Basin, a Lee Valley Park nature reserve on the opposite side of the river from the Millennium Doom, is a good site for Black Redstarts. They actually tend to favour an inaccessible site adjacent to the reserve so views can be distant. At least one adult male and two females/immatures were present today. One bird was more confiding and was feasting on woodlice in the dockside wall above the River Thames. The bird would drop off the dockside, hover at likely looking nooks-and-crannies, and then briefly cling on to the vertical side and pick out a woodlouse.

There was little in the dock basin apart from 53 Tufted Ducks, a Kingfisher and the usual common waterbirds. The highlight of the day though, was a female Merlin which shot through from the east at 1100h. It alighted for only the briefest moment before heading west. An unusual sight in the city!


DorsetDipper said...

fantastic photos Fraser - lovely sense of environment too. And Merlin is a great record for this area.

How do you get to the East India Basin Reserve - is it walkable form East India DLR?

Fraser Simpson said...

Very walkable, just a few minutes away. Turn right on leaving the DLR station and keep right.