Monday, 1 September 2008
Walthamstow Reservoirs 0800-1200
A great morning's local birding with plenty of drama and a local rare to finish off. On arriving at Lockwood at 8am the first thing that happened was the Peregrine. It was an adult bird, and took a Common Tern over the reservoir. I didn't see the moment of impact as I was looking the wrong way but I saw the falcon carry the tern away. It flew South and landed 2 pylons down (the one on the causeway between resrs No.1 and No.2) where it proceeded to pluck and eat the tern. The poor fella's wings were still beating as the Peregrine tucked in. Grim! A Wheatear and a couple of flyover Yellow Wags provided further interest here. After crossing Ferry Lane to check the Southern resrs I picked up an adult Hobby which went on to give fantastic views as it hawked for insects over the Coppermill Stream. It departed by flying right over my head at a height of less than 30 feet. As it went over it tilted its head and checked me out. I waved.
Later, whilst going to see if could find the remains of the Peregrine's breakfast between resrs 1 and 2 I came upon a cracking Pied Fly. It gave brief scope views, enough to fire off a record shot, and then disappeared.
I did come across the remains of the tern, enough to identify it as a juv., at the foot of the pylon. Curiously it was eaten from the back, i would have expected the breast muscles to be eaten, but I must admit don't know enough about Peregrine biology (informed reader comments on this gratefully received).
1 Pied Flycatcher
3 Yellow Wagtail
38 Common Tern
1 GBBGull ad
5 Little Egret
2 Ruddy Duck
14 Sand Martin
Also; 2 Painted Lady, Common Blue, Comma