Wednesday 29 December 2010

More Waxwing's

Took a ride down to Pitsea to hopefully catch up with some more Waxwing's that have been around lately and found about 60 birds around the town centre and feeding on the roundabout just opposite the Lidl's supermarket, shame the light wasn't much cop!

Monday 27 December 2010

Bittern in the Valley

Met up with shaunboy at the Ingerbourne Valley where we saw at least one Bittern in flight today.

Friday 24 December 2010


Jammed in on these four Waxwings on the way back from a shopping trip to Lakeside with Shaun and Saffron in upminster at the Optomist pub car park.

Jack says thankyou to the Harvey's for his lovely lunch x

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Wader fest at Masey

A walk around the snow covered Mayesbrook Park resulted in some displaced waders and the pick of the bunch was a Lapwing, having not seen lapwing at the park for over fifteen years made this a real local MEGA.....

4 Common Snipe and a Green Sandpiper fed along the unfrozen stream to complete the trio of waders.

Sunday 19 December 2010

High Tide Wader Count

Firstly some sad news on our Snowman from yesterday, who was decapitated and kicked inn during the night, probably by some local drunken thugs (RIP Mr snowman)

Today saw me and Shaunboy involved in a high tide wader roost count at the stone barges at Rainham and several other teams along the inner Thames estuary from Grays thurrock too east india dock basin near Canary Wharf.

jack snipe

Our totals as follows:

280 Black-Tailed Godwit

230 Dunlin

90 Redshank

14 Common Snipe

2 Jack Snipe

2 Grey Plover

1 Golden Plover (over)

1 Common Sandpiper

12 Lapwing

These are really good counts considering the small roosting space, will post other totals in the near future.


Other highlights were 3 red head Smew on the river forced by the continuing cold snap (a rainham site tick for me) and probably more suprising was the 1st winter Ring Ouzel that has been reported several tmes which we picked up along cold harbour lane and along the entrance to the barges.

Other birds of note were numbers of Skylark, Redwing and Fieldfare moving around and a Common Buzzard mobbed by crows.

Saturday 18 December 2010

Waxwings on the patch

Left home at 07:30 and headed to Mayesbrook in search of Waxwings as they seem to be all over the place at the moment, and was delighted when a flock of 24 birds flew east through the park at 08:45.

Mighty Masey at dawn

Waxwing's away !

Well chuffed i headed home for some breakfast when dave mo called to say he has got a Brent Goose at the stone barges at Rainham, so a cheeky diversion on a family shopping trip to Lakeside bags a long overdue year tick for the site.

Brent Goose

To end the day me and Jack build the biggest Snowman he as ever seen.

Saturday 4 December 2010

Cold weather movement part deux !

Yes it was back at Rainham today for some more river action as the snow melted some more movement involved 5 Goosander (3 west 1 drake, pair east) amongst the much more commoner wildfowl.

Aveley bay

Good number of waders were seen on both sides of the river mainly involving Dunlin and smaller numbers of Redshank, Black-tailed godwit and several each of Grey Plover and curlew with a single Ruff.

who's that in the goaty ?

its Mo de niro !!

A walk to the tip to scan for gull's we find a stunning pair of Yellowhammer along the cycle track a scarcity now at rainham and for most london sites, on the tip we find a 1st winter Caspian gull and an adult Yellow-legged gull but no white wingers.

A call from Dom and Dave C to say they have had a Lap Bunt on the serin mound was all to brief and coudn't be relocated after its original sighting, hopefuly it will stay as there is quite a large flock of mixed finches for company.

Friday 3 December 2010

Awesome Rainham

Started this morning at Fairlop waters where a Goosander was still present, then made my way to Aveley bay to hopefully locate yesterdays Eider which would be a good London tick as there has not been to many records of this species in the couple of decades.

On arriving i find smithy in the car-park and we made our way to the river, and we are also joined by Andy and Phil and after ten minutes smithy finds the imm Eider close in to the bank of Aveley bay, not exactly the prettiest off birds but certainly a great London tick.

imm drake Eider

Walking along the river wall i find 5 Corn Bunting on the saltings and good numbers of Dunlin and Redshank and a single Grey Plover on the ebbing tide, the regular imm male Marsh Harrier fly's towards Crayford marsh pursued by a crow.


Grey Plover

Walking back towards the Car-park out of nowhere a flock of 14 Bewick Swans flyover towards Crayford marsh and are greeted with another flock and fly into aveley bay and land on the river, a total of 27 Bewick's including 2 juvs stay for just 10 minutes before being flushed by a large container ship heading out of the river and are last seen heading north west.


Cant remember having heard of a flock of that size in the London area in my time and glad i was there to witness this great spectacle.

A Short-eared owl hunting around the Car-park ended a good mornings birding.

Saturday 27 November 2010

Cold weather movement

A record count of 25 Teal on Mayesbrook lake yesterday was unexpected, and a visit this morning found none! but a fine female Wigeon was today's consolation.

female wigeon

With most of the lake frozen bar the sheltered areas by the islands it wasn't a surprise there was a clear out, with all the Gadwall dispersed and just a handful of Shoveler left, the regular Little egret fed along the stream, and a large flock of the commoner tits held a couple of Chiffchaff.

little egret


This bird was rescued at work in the week and like the previous tawny owl was caught between windows with help from Huckleberry and Mat the Cat it was a successful catch and release.

Sunday 21 November 2010

More Tits

Me and Shaunboy had a cracking morning at Rainham today, catching up with the fem/1w Black Redstart around by the shooting butts that has been present several days now.

Also find several Bearded Tits from the new turnstile bridge, up to 30 birds have been reported this autumn and certainly the best count since the 1970's when large numbers used to seen on the silt lagoons, lets hope they stay onto the spring to breed.

The now resident immature male Marsh Harrier was again hunting the wennington marsh area and two Avocets in Aveley bay still represent good London records along with 170+ Black-tailed godwit, 120+ Redshank and 100+ Dunlin.

Sunday 14 November 2010

Still no filthy twitching here!

An afternoon stroll around Connaught water (Epping forest) in awful weather was brightened up with several drake Mandarin Ducks which eventually showed well.