Sunday, 25 August 2013

Its not all Doom & Gloom

With yesterdays persistent rain and work commitments I couldn't wait to get to the patch early this morning. This proved to be one of the best mornings birding for my patch.  Weather was foul, dull, low cloud and drizzle.

After scanning the river as the tide was dropping, a summer plumaged Grey Plover was searching for an area to feed as were two Ringed plover.  In the gloom I could see a number of terns feeding mid river, I then check the scrub where I pick up my first Garden Warbler in middle ditch feeding on blackberries, Tree Pipit calling over, single male Blackcap and lesser whitethroat.  With not much else happening I head back to the river.

The large group of terns mid river consisted of about 60 Commons, 20 Arctics and 2 Blacks.

At Rainham Andy Tweed put news out of an Arctic Skua, fifteen minutes after his sighting it passes me sending every gull and tern into panic mode, great start and a site tick for me.

dark-phase Arctic Skua

Five minutes later a group of waders wheel around and can make out four Turnstone and seven other waders which showed white rumps!!  Curlew sands were my initial thought but they landed further down the bay and even with the scope I couldn't make out any detail, so off I dashed of to get a closer look.

Curlew sands & Turnstone

Result - seven juv CURLEW SANDS (site tick no2) were feeding close to the shoreline, turnstones departed, I managed a couple of ropey phone-scope pics before a great black back spooks them and they fly high west.

dodgy phone-scoped pic (6 of the 7)

Andy then calls picking up a Sabs gull at rainham then whilst on the phone several more mid river.  I played it cool and instead of twitching the rainham bird I sat it out at Barking and pulled out a SABINES GULL mid river amongst the tern Melly, an adult bird but lacking much hood.

I grabbed the camera from the bag and typically couldn't re find the bird, by this time a further 10 Black Terns are now feeding, and another new wader in the bay comprising of a single Knot.

So a great morning on the patch and definitely worth getting soaked for..........

Friday, 23 August 2013

Red-necked Phal on KGV

Well over due for me and I think for a number of London Lister's this fine Red-necked Phalarope graced the mighty KGV reservoir which is just a fifteen minute journey for me, where this small arctic wanderer on its way south to warmer climates bobbed about like a little clock work toy, and was easily flushed by a passing Common tern or bhg it was always on the go, often moving towards the middle of the reservoir.

This site also held two Black Tern which were my first for the year.


Thanks to Bradders for access to site.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Juv/1st winter Yellow-Legged Gull

Yesterday evening had a quick look along the foreshore at Barking, hoping to connect with Dave Mo's Ruff he had in the afternoon, typically no sign at the time i reached site, and the tide was just on the way back out.

Only bird of note was this bruiser juv/1w Yellow-leg that just came in to feed along the tide line, most of the bigger gulls tend to stay on the crossness side so always nice to pick one up here.

showing the characteristic, pale head, dark eye mask, solid dark centres to tertials.

thick dark tail-band, pale belly and undertail coverts, thick stubby bill.

dark outer greater coverts, some grey coming thru on the scaps.

typically very dominant in size.

nice comparison with a smaller LBB. (post attack!)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Clouded Yellow

An evening stroll around Rainham produces my first Clouded Yellow of the year, seems there getting reported all over the place at the moment, but always nice to see.

The two Avocets were on aveley pools at high tide, these comprised of an adult and a juvenile bird.

Other waders represented were 2 Greenshank, 2 Green Sand and a single LRP and Curlew.

A juv Peregrine flew over and i just managed to grab a record shot as it bombed over, showing both a BTO and a colouring and is from a breeding pair nearby, thanks to Dave Mo for the info.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Hoot Hoot

Got invited to ring a couple of Barn Owl's this afternoon up in the lea valley.  These birds were just about ready to do.  At 45 or so days old these youngsters are probably about 3 weeks later than previous years and looked pretty healthy, so hopefully both birds will fledge successfully.

What cracking birds and so docile !

Barn Owls have great camouflage too.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Reed Bunt Ringing

Good session this evening with twenty four new birds ringed and just three re-traps, mostly Reed Warbler and Common Whitethroat, with several Sedge, and my first Reed Bunting (female).

This female Greenfinch was caught but unfortunately could not be ringed as showing signs of the disease Trichomonosis, which is getting fairly commonly found within the finch family, so this bird is sadly highly unlikely to make the winter.

trichomonosis , caused by microscopic parasite.

Monday, 5 August 2013

let the seawatching begin

So my seawatching season kicked off yesterday (Sun 4th), and hopefully one of many jaunts down to Dungeness for some seabird action.  Myself and Mo joined virgin Lee Brown on his first ever seawatch which produced NINE ticks for the newby, which you can find here Lee'sbirding

Conditions weren't ideal for a seawatch.  Clear blue skies and blistering heat!  But we showed willing and it sort of paid off.  Arriving at 06:30 at the fishing boats scanning the calm bright sea good numbers of Gannets were on the move.  A single Fulmar, flocks of Scoter, couple of Sandwich Terns and Kitts amongst the feeding Commons, Little Gull.  Several Manxs east and west were a surprise as were two close BALEARIC SHEAR'S.

One each of Bonxie and Arctic Skua, and virgin boy even pulls out an Arctic Tern and Guillemot.

With the sun really burning a quick look at the patch produces several Med Gull.

Onto the Arc pits we pick up the Black-necked grebe and a couple of Garganey, and the regular Tree Sparrow's.

So back home for lunch and not a bad mornings birding considering clear skies!

Nice to catch up with Brian, Jim, Their Dad, Mick and Richard.

this was the only pic i got before flusher Morrison arrives.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Ringing 3/8/13

A good morning comprising of 29 new birds of seven species, with the majority being Reed Warbler and Common Whitethroat with a couple of Sedge Warblers,  a couple of Wren and singles of Blackbird, Goldfinch (second for site) and the first Blue Tit for the site.

Just two re-traps caught today.

Sedge Warbler
Blue Tit