Despite all the problems at Beddington it is actually amazing that we've still got such a great site on our doorstep in South London and even though I've just come back from the Tropics where you can see more species of bird in a day then in a life time at Beddington- it's still good coming home (as long as the next trips are planned- Western Sahara in March, Eastern Europe in Spring and Summer and the Azores in autumn).
At the moment there is Twite, Dartford Warbler, Water Pipit, two Iceland Gulls, a Glaucous Gull, Caspian Gulls and other local winter specialities like Jack Snipe and Green Sandpiper. There's also Firecrest probably still lurking on the edges and Barn Owls and Tawny Owls are now almost daily.
The whole incinerator issue, legal dispute, on going political struggle/campaign, the delays in restoration and the collapse in the target species over the last few years has all been part of Beddington's darkest hour but there is still a lot to fight for. The problems faced at Beddington are the whole world in microcosm- unethical corporations, corrupt and weak local government and complicit roll over local communities- everything that is wrong with the world, with capital driven economies, market failure and vulnerabilities of the human species is all here- so important to remember the Battle for Beddington is the Battle for the Planet so unsurprisingly it is a right arse ache.
Juvenile/first-winter Iceland Gull, the dark eye and overall marbled plumage indicate a first cycle bird
Second-winter Iceland Gull- the pale eye and grey mantle and scapulars indicate a second cycle bird
First-winter Caspian Gull- the pale underwing on this individual is striking
Interesting comparison of two Cormorants. The bird on the right is clearly smaller with a finer bill- almost Shag like but the structure and flight mode were wrong for Shag. Possibly two different sub-species with Atlantic Cormorant on the left and Continental on the right?
The Cormorants again- clearly major structural differences