Saturday 29 May 2010


1st summer Male Red footed falcon still showing well at wilstone reservoir this morning, and well worth the slight detour back from Birmingham today.

showing brown upperparts

Tuesday 25 May 2010


An evening walk around Rainham finds very little bar a dake Garganey on the Target pools and several Hares showing well.

Sunday 23 May 2010

The Duke

Me Bradders and Jono travel to Denge woods in Kent in the hope of finding one of Britains scarcest butterfly's the Duke of Burgundy and was not disappointed with at least half a dozen found.

Denge Woods

Also seen at this site were Dingy Skipper and Green Hairstreak, Turtle Dove, Nightingale, Garden Warbler and Marsh Tit.

The Duke of Burgundy

Dingy Skipper

And several Orchids.

Lady Orchid

Early-purple Orchid

Some tactics!

the Stealth approach!

or Somtimes there right under (or on) your nose!

Saturday 22 May 2010

Hobby at Masey

A brief walk around the park late afternoon produces my third Hobby of the year, in probably as many visits this spring! also Lesser Whitethroat singing.

Thursday 20 May 2010

Crake-fest for dinner!

A Trip to the Nene Washes Last night produced at least 7 male Calling Corncrake from the re-introduction programme and was my first encounter with this species since 1990 when me and H jammed in on one on porth hellick (st mary's scillies) back in the day!

drumming snipe

What a Cracking place, breeding Blackwit, drumming Snipe, hunting Hobby and Barn owl and fly-by Garganey! interesting pics here

blackwit at dusk!

Then we took the short trip to welches dam where Spotted Crake was calling amongst the back drop of hooting Tawny Owls to end off a cracking evenings birding.

Tuesday 18 May 2010


A short trip to Canvey island this evening to enjoy a stunning Woodchat Shrike that was found today on the new RSPB reserve (west canvey) which has only been open five weeks.

(some heavily cropped pics)

typical essex boys!

Saturday 15 May 2010

Collard Doves

The Collard doves that have bred on my balcony this year fledged two young which have both left the nest this week, from egg to fully fledged took 5 and a half weeks.

first egg laid 8th april

2 chicks 25th april (2.5 wks)

4 weeks

5 Weeks

5.5 Weeks (were off!)

Wednesday 12 May 2010

Rainham 11th May

An Evening stroll along the seawall with still a cool north east wind blowing which seems to be ether present in holding up all the rarity's and southern overshoots!

In aveley bay a single Bar tailed godwit was the highlight and a female Wheatear with what seems to have an abnormal or broken bill which both Jono and Dominic have also both en counted over the last couple of weeks.

Monday 10 May 2010

All work and No play!

Worked all weekend but managed an evening stroll over the Ingerbourne Valley with Shaunboy and young Saffron this Sunday evening, and with the wind still blowing from the north giving quite a chill for mid May!

the elusive Les of the Garrison!

The few Warblers that were singing were Reed, Willow, Garden and several Groppers and a single Lesser throat, with a fly thru Hobby and calling Cuckoo were other highlights

Ah Gwasshopper!

Crouching tiger hidden Gropper!

Monday 3 May 2010

Iberian Chiffchaff

Jono, young Henry and myself travel the short distance to Chatam in Kent to see the Iberian chiffchaff that has been singing and holding territory for several days now, having not seen one for several years it was a great opportunity to see this species again.

Cracking bird showed really well and was singing and defending its territory, showing a more brighter plumage very much like a willow warbler with paler bill and legs than chiffchaff.

Stopped at Rainham stone barges and had a singing Garden Warbler along the approach road which was a year tick.

Rainham Yearlist 135

Sunday 2 May 2010

Black Terns

Two Black Terns on aveley pools late morning was a nice consolation as the river watch proved a non event bar several Arctic Terns.

High tide wader movement included 5 summer plumaged Knot several Grey Plover and a dozen or more Bar tailed godwit and smaller numbers of Whimbrel.

Rainham Yearlist 134 Black Tern

Saturday 1 May 2010

Wader Movement

Started at Aveley bay early doors and was rewarded with Little Stint and two Sanderling feeding on the tideline with a dozen Dunlin, also still many Whimbrel still about and several Greenshank.

Me, Dave mo and Jono then walk the reserve and find drake Garganey, Cuckoo and three stunning male Winchat and six Wheatear.

Added Hobby in the afternoon along with a couple of yellow wag over.

Lunch at Henrys in Aveley saw Mr peacock strutting his stuff (dont think she was impressed!)

Rainham Yearlist 129 Little Stint 130 Sanderling 131 Winchat 132 Cuckoo 133 Hobby