Latest wildlife reports

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July 2019 Wildlife Records

22 July 2019, Blackwall Basin: a pair of Common Terns with a well-grown chick on a raft (Tom Speller).

22 July 2019, East India Dock Basin: a 15-minute count for the Big Butterfly Count recorded 1 Small Copper (the first record here for at least eight years), 6 Small Whites, 16 Gatekeepers, 3 Six-spot Burnets, 4 Green-veined Whites, 1 Common Blue, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Large White, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Red Admiral and 1 Jersey Tiger. Also a brood of 6 small Mallard ducklings, 1 juvenile Shelduck, and Cinnabar moth caterpillars on Ragwort around the Copse (John Archer). Click photos to enlarge

Small Copper butterfly

Small Copper (John Archer)

Cinnabar caterpillar on ragwort

Cinnabar caterpillar (John Archer)








21 July 2019, St Paul’s Church, Shadwell: a Muntjac deer in the church grounds at 7am – one of the closest records to central London, and only the second Tower Hamlets record following one photographed swimming in the canal beside Victoria Park in 2011 (Gary Walker).

21 July 2019, Westferry Circus: a Black Restart on scaffolding at midday (via Rare Bird Alert).

20 July 2019, Antill Road E3: 5 House Martins flew over (Harry Harrison).

18 July 2019, Bow Creek: the Egyptian Goose family with six growing young still, 1 Oystercatcher, 11 adult Mute Swans (Tom Speller).

18 July 2019, East India Dock Basin: 1 Swallow briefly, 1 juvenile Shelduck, 1 Grey Wagtail, a female Mallard with ducklings, 28 Black-headed Gulls including a juvenile (Tom Speller).

juvenile Shelduck

juvenile Shelduck at East India Dock Basin (Tom Speller)

18 July 2019, Blackwall Basin: a female Tufted Duck with 5 small ducklings (the second brood of the year in the area), 2 Common Terns on the raft showing territorial behaviour – perhaps the nesting pair that failed at East India considering another breeding attempt, 3 adult Mute Swans, 5 Egyptian Geese (Tom Speller).

12 July 2019, Bow Creek: 3+ Reed Warblers, 3 Blackcaps, 1+ Cetti’s Warblers, 8 adult Mute Swans (Tom Speller).

12 July 2019, East India Dock Basin: 2 Sand Martins flew in briefly from east then departed north, 1 Common Tern flew in from the Thames and circled, 1 Little Egret, 73 Black-headed Gulls, 25 Mallards, 3+ Reed Warblers, 1 of the wasp-mimic hoverfly Volucella zonaria in the copse (Tom Speller). Click photos to enlarge

Reed Warbler

Reed Warbler (Tom Speller)

hoverfly Volucella zonaria

Volucella zonaria (Tom Speller)








11 July 2019, West India Docks: a female Tufted Duck with 2 small ducklings on North Dock (Tom Speller).

11 July 2019, Victoria Park: a Roesel’s Bush-cricket and 10+ Black-tailed Skimmers around East Lake (Marcin Kempa).

Roesel's Bush-cricket

Roesel’s Bush-cricket in Victoria Park (Marcin Kempa)

9 July 2019, East India Dock Basin: 1 Little Egret, 1 Gatekeeper butterfly (the first of the year here), but no sign of any terns (Tom Speller).

7 July 2019, Isle of Dogs: an adult Mediterranean Gull and a second summer Yellow-legged Gull on the Thames opposite Morden Wharf (Sean Huggins).

7 July 2019, Victoria Park: the Bird Barmy Army walk recoded 29 species of birds, including 71 Coots (4+ broods of young), a pair of Egyptian Geese with 2 young, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, a pair of Little Grebes with 2 young on West lake and a second pair on East Lake, 22 Mallards including a brood of 5 ducklings, 7 Moorhens including 2 broods of two young, a pair of Mute Swans with 5 cygnets, 2 drake Pochards, 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Stock Doves, 7 Tufted Ducks including broods of two and one ducklings. Also six species of dragonflies and damselflies, including 10 Black-tailed Skimmers, 50 Common Blue Damselflies, 25 Emperor dragonflies including 5 egg-laying females, 3 Four-spot Chasers including an egg-laying female, 2 Small Red-eyed damselflies and 1 Common Darter (David Darrell-Lambert & the Bird Barmy Army). Click photos to enlarge

Tufted Duck duckling

Tufted Duck duckling (David Darrell-Lambert)

Little Grebe chick

Little Grebe chick (David Darrell-Lambert)

Four-spotted Chaser dragonfly

Four-spotted Chaser (David Darrell-Lambert)

Blue-tailed Damselflies mating

Blue-tailed Damselflies (David Darrell-Lambert)

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Small Red-eyed Damselfly (David Darrell-Lambert)

Emperor dragonfly ovipositing

Emperor dragonfly ovipositing (David Darrell-Lambert)



















5 July 2019, East India Dock Basin: a Pyramidal Orchid at the corner of the copse (the first seen here since two in the eastern meadow in 2014) 2 Common Terns on the island showing no sign of visiting a nest or young, suggesting the nesting attempt has failed, 51 Black-headed Gulls, c10 Tufted Ducks, 1+ singing Reed Warbler, 1 adult Little Ringed Plover (Tom Speller).

Pyramidal Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid at East India Dock Basin (Tom Speller)

2 July 2019, Antill Road E3: a pair of House Sparrows and a Large Skipper in a garden (Harry Harrison).

2 July 2019, Bow Creek: the pair of Egyptian Geese still with 5 young (Tom Speller).

2 July 2019, East India Dock Basin: 1 adult Common Tern on the island, showing very agitated and aggressive behaviour, chasing off passing gulls and herons, perhaps suggesting one or more young terns on the island. Also 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Oystercatcher (Tom Speller).

Archive of earlier reports
January-June 2019 wildlife reports (PDF 3MB)
2018 wildlife reports (PDF 3.6MB)
2017 wildlife reports (PDF 3.1MB)
2016 wildlife reports (PDF4.4MB)
2015 wildlife reports (PDF 2.6MB)
2014 wildlife reports (PDF 3.2MB)
2013 wildlife reports (PDF 2.1MB)
2012 wildlife reports (PDF 780KB)
2011 wildlife reports (PDF 100KB)

Header photo: Firecrest in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (David Darrell-Lambert)