This blog is no more. I no longer watch my humble little patch in Fulham and therefore have no more to post.
Thank you for arriving. Feel free to flick through the previous posts, it's not entirely full of drivvle. If you get bored of the ornithological history of Fulham, click on the links on the right. They are generally rather good...
Thanks to all that have read this over the last couple of years and commented and linked and all of that. It's been emotional
Friday, November 05, 2010
It seems that the Wandsworth Bridge Starlings get together a little up river before moving in as there were a couple of thousand on the
dump waste transfer station this evening.
In my recent travels criss-crossing the river over the past couple of months I've noticed Starling activity on other bridges. Tower Bridge has some, as does Battersea Bridge (a similar construction to Wandsworth Bridge - the Starlings roost underneath remember) and there have been a couple of other dusky encounters.
The question is - are all (or the majority) London Starlings roosting on the bridges over the Thames? With 4500 regular under Wandsworth Bridge, it isn't too much of a stretch to extrapolate that up to the 10,000 mark for the whole city. If I wasn't moving out I may have considered trying to get counts for each of the bridges over the course of the winter, but that may have to wait for later in life.
Friday, October 22, 2010
That Wheatear what I found, like ages ago, may appear below this sentence (blogger is playing up like stupid).
If it doesn't, your dose of stunning photography can be found here...a wheatear picture on the wrong blog
Not only was it a patch tick, it also goes on the London List. Cracking little boid.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Wheatears that is. You wait five years for one to come along, and then two turn up in the same week. Found another this morning, all perched up and everything. Incredible. Totally.
I even took a rubbish picture.
If you can handle this kind of excitement I'll be uploading it later...
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Yep, 67 - that is now the stunning year's total for 2010. A stunning 4 more more species than last year, and the remainder of October to add to the total.
The Wheatear yesterday was a complete surprise. Although it was moving with determination southwards, I was lucky enough to see it close in (and without optical aids - naked birding I believe it is called) as it first came past. That's a Wheatear I said to myself. Bloody hell, I also thought.
Apropos nothing at all, have a picture of a gull that won't load properly.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Just had a Wheatear flying south across the river.
Patch tick mega and everything! Result! Fulham continues it's run as vis-mig hotspot!
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Migrating Magpies. Really? Well it would seem so, as less than an hour ago there was a rag-tag stream of Magpies steadily moving south over the river. There were nineteen of them. There are not that many Magpies round here. Yet more vis-mig in the on fire patch...
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
The patch has been quiet, and to be honest I haven’t been expecting much of late as the tide is high at lunchtime and the weather not great. Have been in the patch of course but there has been little to report, despite cracking birds being found all over the show. Ring Ouzels a couple of miles up the road. Little Gulls. Terns. That sort of thing, but obviously not likely to show up in humble Fulham of course. Or could they?
Whilst time wasting by the river yesterday afternoon, I saw a bird flying up river which is not unusual in itself, but was unusual specifically as it was a bloody Sandwich Tern! Patch Mega! Year tick! 66 for the year now. I’ve seen one of these rarities in this location only once before and that was years ago so it was thoroughly unexpected. Get on in!
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Well in the end it was if nothing was happening underneath the streets, and the traffic was more normal than usual. But for the sake of completion, here is yesterday evenings list.
Black Headed Gull
Crow, Carrion – not Bob
No owls unfortunately, nor could I see much bombing past Rainham at 70mph in the failing light....
Monday, October 04, 2010
Some time ago I wrote about how I (internally) beat the tube strike - read it here if inclined.
So we find ourselves in the same position today, but with considerably less pleasant weather and largely darkness as a companion. But I have three times the distance to travel and a metropolis to cross. Bitching doesn't even get half way to describing the commute this morning. However, when a river has to be crossed there are birds to be seen. Somehow this morning I found myself on the Woolwich Ferry, and while on said ferry there were three Common Terns to watch around the side of the boat. A nice interlude.
I'll count the birds on the way home tonight but don't have my hopes up for 26 species, or for that matter finishing the journey within two hours.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
No, really - full on proper vis-mig. Not just Woodpigeons chuffiing over all about the place that may or may not be from round here but summer birds moving in a southerly direction one after the other.
Swallows they were too, which are pretty unusual in this locale, making it more special. First six flew over Hurlingham Park to Wandsworth park, then three, then one then three more and two more. That's like, loads.
Proper visible migration at the end of September. Lovely.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I went into the patch and I stood there and watched birds. First time for ages, and it was brilliant. Relatively.
The Yellow Legged Gull was knocking about for twenty minutes or so, and other than that there wasn't much. A few Common Gulls, the returned Jackdaws in the distance.
And that's about it.
Better than nowt.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Three weeks in Norfolk. Not really a birding trip per se, but some birding was done. Most notably was going to Whitlingham CP and finding 4 Black Terns doing lengths of the water in the late evening. Much pleased.
I would give you a picture, but for some reason by computer is reluctant to let anything be uploaded. Once fixed I'll proffer some cliched sunsets etc.
Back to the patch today. Not expecting Black Terns though...
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
This is the blogging equivalent of the out of office reply. But prettier.
I'm away from the big smoke this week, preparing for life in the other place. Did I mention the new patch?
Here's a picture of it. Just in case anyone missed it the first few times.
Friday, August 27, 2010
A snip at £435,000!
See more by clicking this link - ooh get me with my parallel blogging!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I’m going to miss a website. As the website is not closing that may sound a bit strange, but I will miss it because it will cease to be entirely relevant to my new patch and I will have little cause to read it.
The website is the Londonbirders Wiki.
You may think that as London is a generally a more frosty place to live on an interpersonal level that you would have more coherence amongst birders in the idyllic flatlands of Norfolk than you do in London. It is my opinion that the reverse is true. Londonbirders seem to be able to work better as a unit in spite of the difficulties that the city presents whereas the individuals in the Norfolk birding scene don’t seem to be able to get it together to maintain a project as good as the wiki, which is a pity. They have yahoo groups and what not but they don’t seem to be able to unite behind a common technowebical cause. As far as I know the most popular venue for discussion is a thread on Birdforum that is as long as it is chaotic, and I’m willing to be corrected. Yes, it is true that the Londonbirders mail group does have the odd barny, and a certain Mr Evans of the parish of Amersham has been, erm ‘deselected’ but that was a rarity. I suppose it could be that Norfolk birders are all out in the field seeing birds, and London birders are all keeping the interweb up to date rather than doing their employers will. Something that I would obviously have no truck with. No that would be very naughty indeed. The nub of my point is that the birders in London have got all this interweb thing all sorted and have an excellent resource. I will miss it.
Meanwhile in another land, a listers list is listed.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Part 1 of how many, I don't know. But certainly at least two.
When I leave this patch to go here, I will miss this.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Did I mention that I've got a new patch coming? I did?
Well, I reckon that a new patch deserves a new blog (might have mentioned that too).
It's still in it's infancy, and lots of honourable links are yet to be added and all that kind of malarkey, but for the moment feel free to enjoy the first, and reasonably uninspiring entry to Norfolk'n Birds.
Click on the bluey bit - it's a link...
Friday, August 20, 2010
Unless it regurgitates it (which I have seen in gulls before) it's shortly going to be a very, very, dead gull indeed. I know it's only a gull, and not an uncommon one and that I am not one for shying away from nature when it is at it's most raw and unforgiving. If this gull was killed by a Peregrine I would have loved it. But this is at the other end of the scale, the shitty end of urban birding.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
If you look at the Birdguides reports of rarities that are knocking about these fair isles, you will occasionally see that there are entries for Yellow Legged Gulls. That means that they are unusual. So I should make more of a song and dance about this bird as it is still hanging about in Fulham and seen yesterday.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
You know those waffle free posts where someone that birds in a patch actually puts up a list of birds they saw in the patch? The ones like what I don't do very often? Lets have one for yesterday.
Mute Swan - 2 adults, 5 cygnets
Mallard - loads
Tufted Duck - 1 female, 6 ducklings (no, really)
Grey Heron - 7
Cormorant - c15
Lesser Black Backed Gull - 5+
Herring Gull - 15+
Common Gull - 1
Black-headed Gull - 30+
Long Tailed Tit - c7
Blue Tit - 1
Goldfinch - 3
Magpie - 5
Carrion Crow - loads
Starling - c20
Moorhen - 2
Coot - 4
Pigeons - loads
Wood Pigeon - 10+
Ring-necked Parakeet - 3
Pied Wagtail - 1
Blackbird - 2
House Sparrow - 6+
Canada Goose - 2
Not very exciting I grant you. The only notable from that list is the Tufted Duck with ducklings. If they stay loyal to the site over the coming weeks it may be proof of breeding, which will be a first. But there are Tufties on Wandsworth Common, and it is not unknown for ducks to take their progeny for a walk. But round here it seems a little unlikely.
Monday, August 16, 2010
What was the relevance of the title of Friday's post? What is the relevance of this one? Firstly, none whatsoever and secondly none until I'm done here today. You still with me?
Here is how it all ties together. Trying to find witty or even slightly different titles for posts can be a bit taxing. Now, on the way to work on Friday, rather than the dulcit tones of John Humphreys, I was listening to some of Screamadelica by Primal Scream, as you do. In the track Don't Fight It, Feel It the backing singer(s) sing the line (taken from the superb Rocket Reducer No. 62 by the MC5 as some of you know) 'Rama Lama Lama Fa Fa Fa'. And it stuck in my head. So for my own amusement, I put it as the title of the post. So far so innocent. That's the first bit out of the way. The second answer, and a little installment of wierdness is that because of that post title a link to my blog ended up on a kind of daily whereabouts blog thing for the Dalai Lama.
No shit - click here.
How totally bizarre.
Erm, have a picture?
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Don't worry, I'll stop soon.
However, if you want to know what a decent picture of a Sparrowhawk looks like check this out.
Birdguides photo of the week
Friday, August 13, 2010
Yes, I know I said that there were four, but they don't exactly understand how to pose for a family photo you know.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
What do you do if you know where to find Sparrowhawks in your patch? Easily. Well, if you are me, you just keep going to go and watch them. At every available moment. So I did again yesterday, and have done so already this morning. I mean why not? What’s not to like about watching a couple of raptors in your patch? What could be better? Not much is the answer. Not much at all. Still not seen a definite toid boid, but I'm hoping that it is only a matter of time before a parent pops up with some food while I'm there. Either way, the two regulars are still well worth the effort. Yesterday lunchtime they were pretty static, but again this morning the Magpies were giving it some (do Magpies prefer mobbing in the morning?) and they were flying about lots and calling all the while.
Other than this excellent bit of patch birderism, there was an Egyptian Goose on the Thames this morning and a Common Sandpiper yesterday. Haven’t seen a Swift for ages, which is a bummer.
Have a picture.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
On Monday I spent about 40 minutes watching a Sparrowhawk in a tree. It didn’t do much other than sitting in the tree and calling incessantly while looking west.
Yesterday, from a different vantage point, I watched what I assumed to be the same bird doing much the same thing. Occasionally I could see another Sparrowhawk moving around the area. From this bird’s behaviour, and reasonably shabby plumage, I have assumed that it is a juvenile. This is good. It makes me think that the Sparrowhawks that I have seen over the year in one particular area have bred again (again assuming that the juvenile that was seen last autumn was a local bird).
But this is an assumption. One reasonably distant and shabby bird acting up isn’t much proof of breeding. Ideally, I need at least a second bird.
This morning I was at my place of employ quite early. I considered getting stuck in for the good of the cause and all that, but as I will be leaving soon I felt more inclined to go and look for Sparrowhawks. So I did. Again I found a second bird, but this time it was sitting with the original bird and doing much the same thing as the first – calling a lot and facing west – and it looked pretty much identical. Like this.
Hmmm. That makes me think that there are two juveniles (which is very good) but they are still distant and shabby. Not quite the proof I was after. So now I need a third bird. Not quite a three bird theory, but certainly a three bird proposition. I thought that I might have found it at one point this morning. While the two probable juveniles were sitting on the tree they attracted the attention of some Magpies and after a short while there was at least half a dozen Magpies mobbing the hawks, who were giving plenty back. There ensued about half an hour of flying around at each other with some lovely views of the two hawks. Sometimes visible, sometimes not, but always audible. During the aerial skirmish I was certain that I saw a slaty-backed bird pop out of the foliage which may have been bigger than the other two. The third bird. I’m now reasonably confident that Sparrowhawks have been breeding on my patch in 2010. I do intend to chase the third bird for a while though. For the sake of proof.
The Heron ignored everything.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 09, 2010
A brief visit to Brent Res on Saturday produced the goods that I had been hoping for in the shape of a small mainly brown bird. On the way to the hide, there was a nice warbler frenzy and I managed to pick up a Lesser Whitethroat, juvenile Blackcap and Garden Warbler. Once in the hide I set about finding the mainly brown bird, which took some time as it may have been sheltering from the recent showers. However, once it was out, it stayed out. It's name? Wood Sandpiper - patch tick. Nice.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
To assuage some kind of guilt regarding the eponymous Coots of this blog and the lack of interest I was showing (what, when there are Redshanks all over the show?) I went to check them out yesterday. I hadn't been to the shopping trolley since the end of the family that appeared against all belief earlier in the year. Not once. Which is a bit pants, but that particluar drama had left me a bit flat. And besides, I had a fair idea of what was going to happen. The days are still long, the sun is still warm, there is still plenty of food about. What is a Coot supposed to do?
Nest, that's what.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
I went to see a man last week right, and we had a chat about some stuff. He liked what I said, and I was intrigued by what he said. “We should have another chat” he said. “That’s a good idea” I said. So earlier this week, suitably attired, I went and had another chat with him. Another man was there too. We all chatted for, like, ages yeah? Then the other chap showed me around this place that we were at, which was nice of him.
Subsequent to all this chatting and stuff, they only went and offered me a bloody job. With money and benefits and stuff. I've only then gone and accepted the bloody job.
There is still the due diligence and what not to go through, but essentially I'm hired. Professionally this really is very good news. But this blog is not about my chosen profession. Never has been, never will be. It’s about patch birding, and largely about the inadequacies of this particular patch by the Thames in Fulham. But it cannot be thus for ever dear reader, and nor will it be. This new job, you see, is nowhere near Fulham and thus nowhere near this patch. So I will need to go somewhere in the breaks between the times when I'm not contractually obliged to be sitting behind a desk or pointing at things and telling people to do stuff (I believe they call it 'managing').
“Now just hang on one cotton pickin' minute...” I hear you cry dear reader “...your patch isn’t that bad really, what with it being by the river and everything. Will you have anywhere to go in your new job? What could possibly be right outside the front door of your new place of employment that could compare? How lucky can one person get? I mean really, what’s the likelihood of finding something like that somewhere else?”
Exactly. Life isn't like that. I'm supposed to be resigned to the futility of modern life, in that I am forced to work for 'the man' and take the tainted dollar and abandoning what little morality I have left for the sake of an easy life. I couldn't realistically apply for a job based on how close the birds are at lunchtime, that would be silly and financially I don't think it entirely sensible. But what if it works out that both job and birding can reach some convenient geographical integration. Yeah, right. What are the chances of that happening, eh? What are the real chances of being a hundred yards or so from somewhere worth watching on a daily basis?
Oh, I dunno.
Maybe this picture of the new patch answers the question...
A new patch, doing rock the fuck on!.
Friday, July 30, 2010
On Wednesday morning I found the Yellow Legged Gull again so it is looking like it is doing what it normally does and should hang about for a month or so. Which is nice. It briefly showed yesterday lunchtime. That’s the steady bit. The only interest has come from Gulls. I had quite a long look over a flock yesterday lunchtime, and it was quite varied. Black-headed Gulls loafing, including a couple of juvs, there were a few juvenile Herrrings, some of which would be classed as first winter types as well as other summer or winter 'types'. There was also a big 2nd summer GBB, and nearly every variation of LBB on show including a cracking looking 3rd winter type – nice fresh feathers on all but the secondaries. Peachy. Did I say interesting? Well, if you don’t dig gulls it is was pretty boring I guess. Your loss.
While we are on the subject of books, I have two things that I just have to get off my chest. Firstly, The Big Gull Book (which really is brilliant) is a bit disappointing with some of the coverage of argenteus Herring Gulls – it’s really good for argentatus and all the rest but we don’t have them much over here. I just find it disappointing, and a little annoying that a book that is obviously going to sell very well in blighty is a bit light on one of the trickier ID’s and a bit 'Scando-centric'. So there.
Secondly, in that Big Year book about the
mad twitchers rare bird enthusiasts, right, the author reckons that Al Levantin (one of the three protagonists) cannot smell. He was evidently an industrial chemist and after many years in the lab his nose packed up. This meant that when he went to a place called Brownsville Dump to look for Tamaulipas Crows (whatever they are) he had a distinct advantage over the other birders because he couldn’t smell the detritus that was attracting the crows. However, earlier in the book he was on a pelagic and could smell the cod liver oil and chum as it went over the side. Now, either he could smell or he couldn’t. Which one is it? How do you expect me to believe all the other tales in the book if you can't tell me if for sure if a mans nose works or not? Eh? Answer that for me.
There, I feel better already.
Have a picture of some gulls. On a beach.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
After all of last week’s patch tick craziness, it is back to normal. The days roll on, the tide rises and falls, and the same birds fly about a bit when they can be bothered.
Admittedly I did briefly see a Common Sandpiper again on Monday but that is by far and away the most interesting thing that has happened. There does seem to be a small increase in the amount of Woodpigeons flying through, and yesterday I heard a Robin sing – now that was a novelty. Due to recent reports of a Med Gull in the vicinity, every single gull in the patch has been getting a lot of attention. Normally optics need not be raised to eliminate the flying Black Headed from a Med search, but as most of them are moulting, most of the secondaries are all over the place at the moment so the wing profile is a bit wrong. So I have been birding furiously, but to no avail.
On Sunday I was watching Red Kites. This was very enjoyable. While I was in the area there was a Jackdaw with no tail. When in flight it looked like a small black owl. This also was enjoyable.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
You might have heard about this, you might not. The story is told here. I think it is quite funny.
Monday, July 26, 2010
So the year list for the patch is now higher than last year by one. In fact I am now in the biggest year of my patch life for this patch. And it’s only July. I was in the 29th best patch in London last year, but even with last years total beaten, I'm only in the mid thirties. And that's assuming that all the other worthy patch birders have updated their lists. So to maintain the top 30 status pop-pickers I need a big year.
Funnily enough, I’ve just finished reading The Big Year by Mark Obmascik, which if you have any lists of birds that you see, you will enjoy. Three now legendary birders in America try to break the record for the most birds seen in America in a year. The winner (Sandy Komito) ended up with 745. If you haven’t read it (regardless of which side of the pond you sit on), get hold of it. It’s a ruddy good read. Their antics would make the most mental UK
twitcher rare bird enthusiast look like a reasoned patch birder. Kind of.
The interweb also informs me that this subject is now being made into a comedy film with Jack Black, Angelica Houston and Steve Martin along with a load of actors that I’ve never heard of but are probably regarded as celebrities. I suspect that this will be rubbish. I digress. This is now the patch Big Year, I’ve already broken the record due to the recent run and the good fortune that the severe winter weather brought at the beginning of the year. So what should I have, and what might I get, to move further into unknown territory?
Here are six species that I had last two years that have yet to appear this year.
Goldcrest – should be a cert in the Autumn/Winter
Collared Dove – rare but annual, only a matter of time
Brambling – a previous one off
Green Sandpiper – not wholly unlikely
Greenshank – a previous one off
Oystercatcher – a previous one off, but not uncommon in West London.
So out of that lot let’s say that I’ll get two more - 67 for sure.
Now, for the Brambling, let’s assume that there is a finch of somer sort knocking about for the year – either that or a Siskin, a Bullfinch or maybe even a Reed Bunting. 68
For the waders, let’s assume that one of the above will drop in at some point – 69
Which leaves me one off the heady heights of 70. So we need to spread the net a bit wider.
Ducks. I have never seen a Pochard on this patch, which is slightly odd. Other candidates in this area are Shelduck and/or Shoveler. So let’s call that a nice round 70.
Gulls. I’m never short of Gulls in the winter, so it’s only a matter of time before something from the top drawer pops in . Med is my best bet (there was one in Chiswick over the weekend - hubba hubba!). – 71
Accidentals. This is where I need to be really lucky. But the following are seen on occasion within a couple of miles, Warblers, Osprey, Hobby, Sand Martin, Snipe, Dunlin, Plovers, Godwits, etc etc etc
Extrapolate from that lot, and in the spirit of the Big Year, nothing less than 73 will be accepted. The chances of getting it though is another matter...
Friday, July 23, 2010
Bloody hell. I'll go and look for this sandpiper then. Two wader species in a day. Remarkable. I got further down river and didn't find a sandpiper, but did find a Yellow-legged Gull. And there was a Common Tern, and a summer plumage Common Gull (niiiiice..).
What is going on? It's like the birding equivalent of Once In A Lifetime...
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
This morning I was incredibly not excited when I saw a female Mallard flying across the wide vista that can be seen from the loo window. 'Oh' I thought, 'that is a mallard' I continued internally. 'Hang on a minute', I continued again, and internally again, 'thats a bloody loo tick!'. And so it was. This brings the loo list to a staggering 32 species.
The patch continues to do little. Loafing Black-headed Gulls now regularly over 100. 5+ LBB. The odd Tern. Only a Wren sings. I Redshank upriver refuses to show itself. I can almost smell the imminent Med Gull.
'A Med Gull?' you say. 'What does that look like?' you continue.
Well if you insist...
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Yesterday was Flying Ant Day in Fulham. That day in the year that flying ants come out and kamikaze style whack into everything, largely including my head.
It is of course on flying ant day that people walk around going "it's flying ant day - look at all those ants". All day. And to everyone that they know. As if we all know why it is that the ants take to the air, and that we care. Or that we have some affinity with the ants, or even that we had been looking forward to flying ant day. Although it has no cultural significance, it never gets on the news, everyone was talking about flying ants yesterday. I suppose it beats going around saying "it is hot" all day which is equally inane. Maybe it's the company I keep during the day. Anyway, I didn't take any photos of the ants, but instead I proffer some random buggage that I have come across recently.
According to my book...
The elytra range from metallic green or blue, through bronzy red, to almost black with the outer areas punctate and slightly pubescent.I have no idea what that means.
It is small and it looks like this.
Ringlet. Aphantopus hyperantus.
It's a butterfly.
I have recently found a spider with a pink back but I cannot discuss this here as spiders, as I am sure you know dear reader, are not bugs.
I did see some birds yesterday. But it wasn't very exciting.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Stop! To ensure that the atmospherics of todays offering are correct, go back to the title of the post and put on your horror-movie-trailer-voiceover-voice on. Go on. The super deep gravelly voice that scares children but makes adults laugh because it is a bit stoopid really. You know, the one that you can only do for a couple of words before it hurts your throat. And makes you cough. But is occasionally worth it. Now try again.
They're - baaack....
Now see if you can read the next paragraph out loud (or if you must, internally) - but still with the horror-movie-trailer-voiceover-voice on. If you don't follow the instructions, you will not get the most out of the post. Now come on, play along!
In a world where everything was tidal, he was a humble patch birder. He thought that they had gone, but this winter they have returned. To haunt his dreams.... They are back, and this time they have abraded tertials. He, armed with nothing more than a copy of the the old Collins and the Big Gull Book, must I-D them all. Before. They. Send. Him. Insane. From the maker of Death On the Wandle, and I Know What You Moulted Last Summer, coming to a patch near you - Thing stars in Dodgy Gulls Of Winter Part II - The Hunt For The Cachinnans....
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
That's right kids - another first for the patch. Hot on the heels of the two year ticks (when it was decreed that this patch is now on fire) my next sojourn brought an excellent first for the patch!
Yes, I can see that it isn't a bird. In fact my identification skills lead me to believe that this is, in fact, a butterfly. I can also confirm that it is a Speckled Wood and I have not seen one of these in this here patch before. And yes, it is not where it should be as it should be (as it's name suggests) in a wood, being speckled. Not on a sandy bit of almost waste ground next to a big river.
Yes, I would have preferred to witter on about birds. But if the highlight of a visit is 'oh, there are now more than 30 Black Headed Gulls knocking about' then the butterfly gets the nod.