Posted by: atowhee | April 5, 2014


Birding in southeast London today there were great songsters at both Nunhead Cemetery and later at Dulwich Park. Myfavoritesobthe day were the Song Thrush which can compete with America’s Mockingbird, and the Blackcap, a warbler that really warbles. American warblers have the looks while the drab Old World warblers (not closely releated) got the great voices. The Blackcap looks like a darker version of the gnatcatcher but has a melodic and liquid song that stops you.BLKCP1



BLKCP-4 These images are badly back-lit but give an idea of his drab plumage. The Old World warblers are sometimes shy (not this one, nor the Whitethroat or Sardinian) but are not as nervous as American wood warblers. So he sat and sang, like a thrush or Mockingbird. The image shows his drab plumage, and the Blackcap is about the size of a Blackpoll or Hermit Warbler.
Nunhead is a Victorian-era cemetery that has largely returned to the forest that once covered southern England…before the Romans, the Vikings, the Normans, the sheep and the shepherds over-ran the land and chopped down forest. Among the bird voices heard: wren, robin, magpie (more a stutter than a song), tits and the Eurasian Blackbird.
BLKBRD-WORM1 This is a Eurasian Blackbird, near cousin of our Robin. They share the Turdus genus. Along with a love of local species of earthworms as this pictures attests. Both our Robin and the Brits’ Blackbird have those great thrush song voices. And both hop around on lawns a lot, and they are the same size and degree of rotundity. Our blackbirds are Icterids, a family not found in the Old World in any variety.


BLTIT-BELLY Blue Tit, in the chickadee family.




Carrion Crow…unlike American Crows these often have whiteish feathers.



MAGPI-AThe local Magpie, camera shy. It rhymes: magpie, camera shy.

Rose-ringed Parakeet with extra long tail making it an eighteen-inch bird. Now found all over London.


PIG-PAR Wood Pigeon and parakeet in same tree. Woody is about the size of our Band-tails but much more urbanized. In the days of Gilbert White (over 200 years ago) the Woody was almost hunted out. Now they abound while the house Sparrow disappears from its native land.

RBN-1 The European Robin,, not a thrush.




Nunhead Cemetery, London, GB-ENG
Apr 5, 2014 11:50 AM. 13 species

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Domestic type)) X
Common Wood-Pigeon (Columba palumbus) 40
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) 15
Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) 2
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 10
Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) 25
Great Tit (Parus major) 2
Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) 6
Eurasian Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) 10
Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) 2
Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) 6
European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) 20
Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) 8

Dulwich Park, London, GB-ENG
Apr 5, 2014 5:00 PM. 17 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 20
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 30
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) 6
Eurasian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) 4
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) 10
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) 4
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Domestic type)) X
Common Wood-Pigeon (Columba palumbus) 50
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) 15
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 10
Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) 8
Great Tit (Parus major) 4
Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) 2
Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) 16
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) 2
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 2
European Greenfinch (Chloris chloris) 1

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