Friday, 31 May 2013

Egret Ringing

Was very lucky yesterday evening to be invited again to ring some Grey Heron and Little Egrets where the latter were now ready to be processed having tried several weeks ago.

A total of Eleven egrets rung alongside some ten heron with the the former also colour ringed so please be aware of any sightings and help by reporting these to the BTO.

beauty and the beast......


a handful of egrets 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

More patch Buzzards

Late morning patch visit produced my 4th & 5th Common Buzzard of the spring in what has been by far my best year for these, both birds seem to be moulting adult birds heading north/east.

My second surprise was a Little Egret which came into feed in the cemex ditch and was only my second record for the year.

A single Whimbrel on the foreshore, Lesser Whitethroat in middle ditch and both House and Sand Martin thru with good count of Swifts feeding over the site.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

London Red-Rumped Swallow

After yesterday's lingering Red-rumped Swallow at Beddington (there second this spring) it was too good an opportunity not to miss to have any chance of seeing this long awaited london tick, with yesterdays foul weather i was hoping it would stick.

Arriving before 7 luckily Dodge was on site and let thru the gate where he had picked up the bird moments before, and it wasn't long before we were enjoying the bird again at close range tho always in the sun!!

The bird showed several times over the next 20 minutes or so before it seemed to head of west over the tree's.

Thanks again to the Beddington boys and another great find too.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


Bumped into this Jay at the weekend in Tesco's carpark in Barking of all places, luckily I had the camera in the boot and managed a couple of pics before it moved on its way, but it wasn't bothered by me at all and even had to move back so I could get the bird in focus. 

every little helps.....

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Confiding Cuckoo

On the way home from yesterday's Thrush twitch we popped into Chambers wall where myself and Monkey came across a rather confiding male Cuckoo which showed to about 20 yards.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Dusky Thrush ends dry spell.

So Steve Tomlinson has saved the day for me having not seen a new bird since the Pechora back on Shetland in October last year, myself and Monkey made the short journey down to Margate cemetery to connect with his mega find.

After not arriving until mid afternoon due to work commitments the bird happily played ball and showed well to the 200 strong crowd often keeping in tree's though.

Most birder's behaved well but a small minority still felt the urge to trample across the gravestone's !!

Anyway just a couple of Phone - Scoped efforts from me today.

almost as good as the 1990 Naumanns.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


Sunday afternoon I popped into the Lea Valley to see the regular Nightingale's that take up residence, its a shame we have lost most of the metropolitan Essex birds and seems that this bird is in real trouble locally.

Monday, 13 May 2013

More than egg on my face

Joined up with some of the Rye meads gang for some Heron/Egret ringing.  Only a handful of the former were rung with alot of the nest's still containing eggs or very small young, so hopefully back for another go in a few weeks.

A quick egress and exit is required for minimal disturbance.

These birds about 2.5 weeks old.

this one nearer to four weeks.

Great to see these prehistoric like birds close up and can certainly be a handful with those sharp claws and dagger like bill.

On returning this bird to its nest I managed to cop a big shit right in the boat race too..... that will teach me not to look upwards!!!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The early bird doesn't always catch the worm

After a ruby last night with the family, washed down with half a dozen Cobra's, and being the good father/husband I am (or was just too hungover to get out early!) I spent some quality time in this morning with them, and I didn't get to the patch till 11o'clock this morning.  Though this seemed to work in my favour today.  As I pulled up I could see three small waders thus turning out to be my first SANDERLING of the year with just one of the birds being in summer plume.

i phone scoped

Scanning the far side (crossness) with the scope I saw two crows frantically gaining height which led me to my second RED KITE for the site and first of the year, which done the right job and headed north of the river allowing me to add it to my Barking list.

With the tide now in I headed to the scrub and added my first calling Cuckoo and House Martin thru, and bumped into two Lesser Whitethroat and a female Whinchat.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Rainham & Barking

Started out at the crack of this morning and Rainham was my first port of call.  Arriving at first light at the west end it was nice and warm, no wind and perfect conditions for my first bird - a Barn Owl that was hunting the silts.

Warblers were In song all over with many Reed, Sedge, Cetti's amongst the usuals.

My first Cuckoo of the year showed well in flight, two Greenshank were the only other birds of note.

Home for some breakfast and back out on the patch produced my third Common Buzzard and my second Marsh Harrier of the spring, a single Wheatear and Willow Warbler were still kicking around.

female type marsh h thru


meadow pipit

the joys of urban birding ....

Saturday, 4 May 2013

£30 Duck

After last nights birders drink it was a late start at the patch, not arriving till well after 10am!!

First bird was a spanking male Whinchat which was my second of the spring.  With a blowing westerly birds seemed thin on the ground.  Managed to spot one of the Whitethroats that I rung from last week as well as the pair of Long tail tits too.

Only other noteworthy bird was an Arctic Tern with twenty Commons feeding on the dropping tide.

News of a drake Long Tailed Duck came through at Fairlop which is just up the road to me and was found by Alan Bell.  Not been here for some time I pulled up and headed towards the sailing lake where I located the bird on the north bank.  Stunning bird and not often we get the chance to see these species in summer plume in London.

After having enjoyed this bird for five minutes a windsurfer headed towards it and flushed it from view and couldn't be relocated !!

So arriving back to the car I find a parking ticket courtesy of Redbridge council for the sum of £30 for not displaying a Pay and Display ticket !! THIS WAS NEWS TO ME .WAN@ERS.


the £30 Long-Tailed Duck