Sunday 31 January 2010

Patch Update

Only one year tick at Rainham this morning Common Sandpiper, the usual bird at cold harbour point but very little else new.

7 Corn Bunting, Common Buzzard and the now resident Bean Geese were the other highlights for this mornings excursion.

A stop at the neglectic Masey park found a partial albino black headed gull that set the pulse racing for a brief second! Grey Herons nest building is a sign spring is on its way.
98 - Common Sandpiper

Saturday 30 January 2010

Staines Massive

3 Grey Partridge flushed on Staines moor by Dave Mo and myself is as about scarce as rocking horse shit in London these days! lets hope i can flush one on the tip tomorrow.

3 Water Pipit, 2 Little Egret and a Gazzilion Parakeets were noteworthy.

Grey Partridge

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Patch Update

Early start at Rainham produces a cracking Barn Owl hunting over the lagoon from viewing platform until 07:30 when the local corvids persuade it to roost!

Slavonian grebe still present in the PD of wennington, a walk along the seawall on a rising tide produces a flock of 28 Knot up-river @08:35 was my highest site count, a single bird found later on the foreshore was as more predictable count.

Reaching the Target Pools the 2 Tundra Bean Geese showed well with the single Barnacle and single Peregrine and Ruff were seen, also 1 grey and 7 ringed plover and 1w Caspian gull.

Rainham Year list- 97

96 - Barn Owl
97 - Knot

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Its on the way!

Bring on the Spring!

Monday 25 January 2010

Names to Faces

Thought i would put names to faces mentioned past and present!

(clockwise) Me, Bradders, Monkey, Shaunboy,Jono.

(left to right) Dave Mo, Les of the Garrison, Howard.

Sunday 24 January 2010

Can't beat the Patch.....

Me and Blowmonkey decide on working the Patch rather than twitching the Essex red-breasted goose and was not dissapointed! a late morning start was rewarded with a distant juv Glaucous Gull over wennington being mobbed by a smaller Herring gull, clearly the larger juvenile bird seen last week on the stone barges.

Then it got better after spending some time trying to find one of the serins we stumble across a superb Slavonian Grebe in the peremeter dyke off wennington where it stayed feeding on sticklebacks for the rest of the day allowing everyone stunning views of a normaly scarce London bird.

Then news came through off the re-appearance of the Tundra Bean Geese (Thanks Dom) having missed these in week, all three of us were dashing along the seawall to view the middle of the reserve and wasn't long before we picked out the birds amongst the resident Greylags before being flushed by a cow and relocating to Wennington.
The day ended at Berwick ponds to look for Bitterns, but i think our luck had run out, but a supporting cast of two Common Buzzards and a Barn Owl was not all lost.

Barn Owl (honest!)

Monday 18 January 2010

Wood u believe it! 17/01/10

An early morning start at rainham in the hope to catch up on woodcock was rewardrd at 07.20hrs when a bird came in of the new scrape and flew around the boardwalk before ditching down to roost, superb! a long overdue site tick! also ticked Little egret, Kingfisher, Blackcap, Great spot for the year for team Hawkeyes (aka Hawkins bizzare) with a little help from H.

Then it was a walk along the seawall and good timing as site tick no 2 was found in the shape of 2 Woodlark flying south towards dartford marsh with a single skylark.

8 Blackwit in aveley bay and 5 Corn buntings at coldharbour point was not a bad mornings session!

mystery bird time (answer next post)

Saturday 16 January 2010

Cold,Wet but Gull-lorious

Oh dear the headings are getting worse!, but seriously a cracking day's Gull watching where myself, Mr Tweed and Mr Merchant braved the elements at Rainhams Target pools to host another gull day in which brought visitors flocking in their thousands! ok only 6 were as mad (or stupid) as us but well worth it as the juv Glaucous was picked out straight away and over the next several hours managed to find an adult Caspian and several first winter birds.
sorry about the pics but the weather was awful!

Glauc probably small female

1st winter Caspian

same bird

2nd Glauc (much bigger)

2nd Glauc

Yellow leg

A quick stop at the stone barges was rewarded by another cracking juv Glauc this time a much bigger bird than targets bird which sat on the barges for a couple of minutes before being flushed by dog walkers and flying towards the tip, also ad Yellow legged gull.

Sunday 10 January 2010


An early morning start at Rainham for me and Jono in search of the elusive woodcock failed miserabley but all was not failed as a high-tide river watch produced a adult Med Gull, 1st w Caspian Gull, several Grey Plover, ringed plover and 3 superb RB Merganser which we picked up in Aveley bay but only stayed for 15 mins before flying high east

spot the med!

Grey Plover

A Grey seal picked up mid-river early morning later beached itself on the blue flag beach of ave bay!

A quick visit to the stone barges produces ad Yellow-legged Gull and Water Pipit.



WOODCOCK at Mayesbrook, yes I'm as shocked as you! Probably well overdue and with over 15 years of watching the park on and off, was about time this little puppy turned up, the recent cold snap was probably a big help.

With much of the lakes frozen, 70+Gadwall was still a great count, and 4 snipe along the stream showed just how cold its been the last week.

does my bum look big in this?

mayesbrook on ice.

Monday 4 January 2010

Essex Boys

A full days birding in Essex, something Ive not done for Donkeys years. Considering I live in Essex is pretty bad. Me, Monkey, Shaunboy, Bradders, Jono and Redsy met up at Abberton Res for what was to be the last time to see the long staying Spotted Sandpiper as construction work on site was to begin.

The Spot Sand showed very well, and a visit to Layer-de-haye causeway produces Spoonbill, Goosanderand Goldeneye. Layer Breton hits back with 3 stunning drake and a redhead smew, as whooper swan and more goosander.

Then a quick visit to East Mersea and from the causeway produces Spot Shank and Greenshank amongst common waders and brents . From the point a couple of Eider and Red Breasted Merganser, a large flock of Avocet and a Harbour Porpoise fishing in the shallows.

Then it was onto Rolls Farm for divers and duck and it didnt disapoint with 6 slav grebes, red throated diver, at least 4 Gt Northern as well as larger numbers of Goldeneye and Mergs, common buzzard and Barn Owl were also up for grabs.

A quick stop at Gt Braxted for Hawfinch was unsucessful, then it was onto Westcliffe on sea for Rossi the ring billed gull now here for it 11th winter (I think?), which showed well on lamposts outside the ice cream parlour, and a laugh at Jono for kneeling in dog shit whilst taking photos of turdstones, I mean turnstones, was well shared.

With 90 species seen today it was off home to watch West Ham get robbed out of the cup by those FUCKING WANKY Gunners!!!!!!

Saturday 2 January 2010

Patch deux

Couldnt leave Mayesbrook park out of the Competition and off to a flyer with 37 species recorded in just an hour (wow!) 2009 highlights were Goosander, Pintail, Bullfinch, Pied fly and Nightingale, and looking forward to finding 2010s mayesbrook megas.

A few pics from todays flying visit.

Friday 1 January 2010

2010 here we go again!!

New Year, New List, and i love it! u cant beat birding on January the 1st, getting excited over silhouette views of Song thrush and Mallard! well that was me and Jono on the silts this morning at 07:00hrs barely light and we were off, and my previous days predictions were prety spot on.

71 Species recorded before 1pm, with the highlights being 2 Short-eared owl, Marsh harrier, common buzzard, Peregrine, Serin, Bonxie and Jack snipe.
Lets hope the rest of the year will just be as good.
Woodcock flusher! who me!