Sunday, 4 September 2016

Sep 4th Waterloo Park

Collard Dove
Today has been dull and grey, a very typical, boring Sunday. With nothing much to do, I decided to go to my local park for an hour or two to see what's about. Though there were groups of people either playing football or playing with their children or walking their dogs, the park was still very quiet. The birds were also silent with barely a song or call to break the silence. To my surprise, I didn't find that many small birds during my walk. It is as if they had all vanished. I did see a few pigeons and collard doves as well as the odd squirrel and magpie, but I did not see any robins or blue tits.

Grey Squirrel
Garden Spider
Common Gull
As I made my way around one of the two playing fields, I finally found something of interest. Standing alone on the field was a single gull. Looking at it through my binoculars, I could see that it was a common gull. The name is misleading as it isn't as common in England as other gull species, its other name describes it better; mew gull. They produce loud mewing screeches that can single them out from the crowd. 'Kee-ee-ya kee-ar-ar-ar!'

Black-headed Gull
As I walked further around the field, my view blocked by a hedge, more gulls were flying in to join it. I walked to some steps at the centre of the park with a clear view of the field and sat down to watch them. These were black-headed gulls, much smaller than the common gull with red legs and bill. In comparison, the common gull has yellow legs and bill. The black-headed gulls have now all but lost their chocolate brown hoods (not black as the name suggests), which are now reduced to a small dot behind the eyes, though some of them still have a smudgy patch around their heads instead. They were happy to mingle with the common gull as they chased flying insects and probed for worms on the field, while dodging children playing with bikes and balls at the same time.

Carrion Crow
Small White
Unlikely as it seemed, even on a cool dull day such as this, I managed to find quite a few butterflies on the wing this afternoon. They were mostly small and large whites, but they cheered me up nonetheless. There was even a dragonfly patrolling the shrubs bordering the paths, flying non-stop like a speedy helicopter, it was not willing enough to perch on a branch for a few photos for me. The flower displays at the park were attracting many pollinating insects, undeterred by a bluster wind springing the flower heads back and forth. A real challenge when it comes to photographing them, however. It all adds up in making a dull, not so exciting day into a more interesting one.

Large White (I think)
Some kind of tiny bee (sorry about the focus)
Common Carder Bee
Some kind of hoverfly
Not sure

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