Sunday 30 January 2011

The only way is Essex.....

Me, Jono, and Bradders take a trip to north east Essex for some filthy year list action which involved a trip to Great Braxsted in search of Hawfinch where we find at least ten birds by the entrance to the golf course, and connect with the immature Red Kite near bye.

Then onto Mersea Island where we find the Lapland flock in stubble containing 30 birds, easily my biggest Essex flock.

Latter we arrive at Abberton Reservoir where the flock of 6 Pinkfeet and 6 Tundra Beans still present with back up of 8 Smew and a fine ringtail Hen Harrier.

Tundra beans


6 pinfeet (foreground) + 6 Tundra bean

sorry for poor pics, light not good today!

Saturday 29 January 2011

Dartford Warbler

Pleased to find a Dartford Warbler on the Patch this morning in Ripple local nature reserve just opposite the bay, also a Stonechat was a year tick, in the north west corner of the site where the dartford possibly moved to.

Nice to see both species on site, as these birds a vulnerable to harsh weather that we encountered at the start of the winter.

In the Bay on the rising tide i found 11 Curlew, 500 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 80 Redshank, 2 Lapwing and a single Black-tailed godwit as well as 58 Shelduck and several adult Yellow-Legged gulls,

Two Rock Pipits were on the shore by the jetty.

Sunday 23 January 2011

Ring Recovery

Received this e-mail from Richard Thompson regarding last weekend's Herring Gull info,

Many thanks for the sighting and photo of A5FK which is one of my birds.
If you don't already know I manage an RSPCA wildlife centre and we release back to the wild previously sick, injured and orphan wildlife, many of which are gulls
I have released over 3,000 gulls in the last 12 years, most are Larus argentatus, with a few fuscus, marinus and one michahallis. All birds are released from Pett Level, East Sussex 50:55N. 00:42E.
I also ring wild birds, which includes roof nesting gulls.

A5FK, GC42061, ringed 16/8/2007. It was admitted into the centre as a small orphan chick from Brighton and remained in the centre for 64 days.
There have been several other sightings of this bird, Gloucester Landfill site 2/1/2008, Blaringhem landfill site, France 28/2/2008, Barking park 31/1/2009, 5/3/2009.

The French sighting was a little unexpected so soon after the Gloucester sighting, but it was a reliable observer.
Many thanks again for the photo and the sighting details.

Thanks again Richard and H for contact.

Sunday 16 January 2011

Local Parks

Done both Mayesbrook and Barking Parks on the bike today as the car is still in the garage, masey had shit loads off gull's and amongst the regulars were two Greater Black Back's that rarely settle, as plenty fly over morning and evenings to and from there roost it was nice to see them on the deck.

Greater Black Back

lesser black backed gull

Two Egyptian Geese were only my second record and didn't stay long, and were probably the same pair later seen in Barking park.


egyptian geese

A flyover Skylark was a bonus, and a pair of Teal, Little Egret and Grey Wag were seen.

Barking Park held plenty of Tufted, 14 Shoveler, Egyptian Goose pair and an adult ringed Herring Gull that i can hopefully trace.(watch this space)

Saturday 15 January 2011

Slaty-Backed Gone!

An Afternoon was spent straight from work in hope of seeing Britans first Slaty-Backed Gull at Rainham found By Dom on Thursday (see but along with 1'000 others the bird wasn't playing ball, though the bird was claimed several times it didnt stick around for more than several to see as it as roamed the working tip.

Lets hope it sticks around for all to see.

the crowd

Sunday 9 January 2011

Spring is coming !

With the weather being rather mild the last few days it was no surprise to be woken by the sound of Robin and Great Tit as well as young Jack jabbing his finger in my eye before Sunrise!!

I walked to Barking Bay this morning as the Car wouldn't start, and two and a half miles later my first bird on site was a flyover Lesser Redpoll, little else to report though did add both Fieldfare and Redwing to the site year list as well as a single Great Tit, usual birds on the foreshore 3 Curlew, 20 Black-wit, 40 Redshank, 50 Shelduck.

The Linnet flock still about 200 strong and two calling Water Rail were noteworthy.

A walk through Mayesbrook on the way home produced a single Snipe, 2 Grey Wagtail, Little Egret and a small increase in Pochard as well as several Grey Heron pairs nest building.

Monday 3 January 2011

Patch Update

Five new year ticks on the patch this morning a calling Chiffchaff along the entrance track, a Kingfisher flew across the Thames towards Crossness, a single Greenfinch in with the Chaffinches, a Green Sandpiper was a nice surprise along the eastern dyke where also at least two Water Rails called.

On the river 14 Wigeon, 2 Grey Pover, 3 Curlew were noted.

green sand zips past

Sunday 2 January 2011

Wild Goose Chase

It was off to Cantley Marshes today for Me, Monkey and Jono in search of the Lesser White-fronted Goose, on arriving we find Some Pinkfeet and Whitefront's but no sign of any Taiga Beans in which the bird has been associating with.

After a short while both bradders Jnr/snr arrive and we all walk down to school lane where we eventually find some Taiga beans but still no joy with our target species.

We then move onto Buckenham Marshes without success bar several thousand Wigeon, a small party of ruff and two Peregrines.

Then news breaks that the bird is located back at our previous location (school lane) and it wasn't long before we were enjoying satisfactory views of the Lesser front amongst the Taiga beans and greater whitefronts just beyond the railway line, the bird was considerably smaller than its near bye cousins and showed its larger white blaze and yellow orbital ring.

A Hooded crow and Two Egyptian Geese are seen and Marsh Tit and Tawny Owl heard.

It was now 12 noon and we headed off to Thornham Harbour on the north Norfolk coast to hopefully connect with the Northern Harrier (American Marsh Hawk) that has taken up residence.

Even though present since october the Harrier is still a crowd puller.

Arriving at 13:30 we had to wait an hour and half before the bird flew into view and began hunting the saltings in front off us and even catching what looked like a small wader, in flight the bird looked very orange on the underparts and darker upperparts with its hood like appearance, we had cracking views of this bird also on the deck preening.

We also added Spotted Redshank and Barn Owl before returning home, as we past Snettisham at dusk skiens of Pinkfeet went over in there Thousands which was a magical sight to see.

Saturday 1 January 2011


Barking Bay one of my old haunts is this years chosen Patch, and was off to a flyer today with 3 adult Bewick Swans calling flying through north having also been seen at Rainham a short while earlier, a fine female Scaup flew up-river mid morning and a very brief drake Red-breasted merganser in the bay before flying east.

A total of 52 species seen by noon was not a bad tally, and i was missing both Blue and Great tits and Greenfinch!!

red breasted merg

Other highlights were 5 Grey Plover, 8 Curlew, 30 Black tailed godwit, 2 Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper and a male Peregrine.