Saturday, 31 December 2011

Med recoveries

Got some feedback from the two med gulls seen at the end of Southend Pier on tuesday, both birds being ringed in Belgium with the adult ringed in June 2005 ringed as an adult, thus making this bird 10yrs+ old, and the second winter bird back for its second winter at the pier!

Found this Caspian Gull (new bird) at the stone barges of Rainham yesterday tho possible hybrid not ruled out, comments welcome.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Kits in the bag !

Another Gulling session for me today at the stone barges of Rainham, arrived about 8am and already a steady stream of birds commuting between the tip and foreshore and over a couple of hours found no fewer than 9 Yellow-legged gulls comprising of 6 adults, two 2w and a single 1w.

No white wingers yet but at least two Caspians again seen, one 2w and a dark 1w bird which caused a bit of confusion, the latter Dominic Mitchell also saw upon the tip.

a very dark 1w Caspian

Other star birds came in the shape of Two Kittiwake ( ad+1w) behind a boat travelling upriver mid afternoon.

1w Kittiwake

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Med Gull City......

Today saw myself, Shaunboy and Pops on a jaunt to Southend Seafront/Pier on a surprisingly flat calm mild afternoon's stroll which involved close up views of the regular Turnstone and Sanderlings alongside the lone Purple Sandpiper and abundant Med Gull population at the end of the pier.

2w Med

1w Med

Purple Sand

Two colour ringed birds seen, will hopefully get results soon.

ad Med (white ring 3E72)

2w Med (E494)

A distant Great Northen Diver present and a brief adult Kittiwake were also seen with good number of seals too.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

More Gulling

It was another Gull ringing session with the NTGG (north thames gull group) this morning and was the final one of the year and again Rainham landfill was the venue and it did not disappoint with some good rubbish disposed of early doors an early catch was made and around 250 birds were caught and processed with over 220 Herring, 20 GBB, 3 Bhg, 2 Yellow-legged and a single Caspian.

melon and cucumber is on today's menu

birds move in

The weather was cold this morning so the birds were hungry and interested and it was clear to see black-headed gulls were the first to move in the catch area, but are then pushed of pretty quickly when the bigger boys move in.

that could hurt!!!

one of two Greater's i rung.....

1w Caspian

taking bio-metrics

Paul roper explains feather detail

and classic pale under wing

Monday, 12 December 2011

Stone Barges

A brief high tide visit to the stone barges of Rainham this afternoon produced a staggering 600 Black-Tailed Godwit roosting with handful of both Dunlin and Redshank, also nice to see two Water Pipit amongst the usual Rock's, only managed a record shot of one water pipit as they always seem to fly a million miles away once detected!!

numbers of black-wit are at a all time high at the moment along the inner thames.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

North Kent 10th Dec

It was back to North Kent today for me and Mo for a site survey and once again not a bad haul for this Thames side marsh where we saw no fewer than 4 Marsh Harrier at least 2 Peregrine a single Short-eared owl and a female Merlin alongside 2 Common Buzzard and the usual Kestrel and Sparrowhawk.

This juv Peregrine try's its luck with a lapwing but unsuccessfully!! at one stage the lapwing actually chased the Peregrine...

lapwing out-wits peregrine

fem Merlin

short-eared owl

On the river a couple of Red-throated divers past as well as several Kittiwake and a single female Goldeneye.



red-legged partridge

30 White-Fronted Geese came of near bye farmland and settled on the Thames.

Other notable birds were a single Corn Bunting and at least 15 Bearded Tit.

Thursday, 8 December 2011


OK, as some of you who may know me my all time bogey bird (a bird often missed or never seen if your not familiar with this expression which i obviously know !!!!) is Green-Winged Teal yes that cousin of our Teal, that visits us from across the pond annually sometimes in numbers, scattered quite generously across the country, in which eluded me for almost a quarter of a century now!!

after 128 attempts

Until Sunday when me, Jono and young henry visited Cley NNT reserve where the duck was finally broken (no pun intended!) and eventuly connected with this absolute tarts tick of all time and now i can carry on leading a normal life without all the boys taking the piss out of me....

Oh and we all ticked Western Sand...........

Making Headlines

Myself, Mo and Shaunboy make the headlines in the local rag this week as we lead a walk in conjunction with Francesca Barker of the London Wildlife Trust who is stationed at the Barking Riverside Centre.

A great turnout with about 30 punters of all standards enjoying what the riverside has to offer in bird life and with some local knowledge learnt and to what the future holds of this great site.

Highlights were several hundred Dunlin wheeling around, good views of both Black-Tailed Godwit and Curlew and a bonus Grey Plover and Rock Pipit to show.

Sunday, 4 December 2011