Sunday 30 December 2012

Duck Delight

Spent a couple of hours down at Gunners Park Shoeburyness this morning, where both Long-Tailed Duck and Common Scoter were showing incredibly well on the lagoon just inside the sea wall.

Been a few years since Ive been here, the last time i saw both Bluethroat and Serin within a few yards of each other!!

Some Waxwings called over as I headed towards the lagoon.

some Sanderling and Turnstone were busy feeding on the beach.

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Boxing Day

Managed a couple of hours out late morning over Rainham, no sign of the Ross's Goose from the seawall in the time I was there though a lot of the Greylags it has been knocking around with were roosting in the sedges so were difficult to see.

An Immature male Marsh Harrier was hunting the reed beds over wennington, and a showy fem Kestrel was by the serin mound.

The stone barges held a single Ruff at high tide amongst the regular wader roost.

I phone scoped.

Sunday 23 December 2012

Sex in the City.....

Yep its been along time coming but I have finally had a SHAG in London, having had loads of Shags all over the country before this was my first Shag in the London recording area, and who better to enjoy my Shag with was my pal Jono, who after tells me his had a Shag in London before!! The Slag!!

shag - warick res - walthamstow.

Saturday 22 December 2012

Wet Wet Wet............

Had a couple of hours out this afternoon and no let up on the rain, decided to look for some duck at Mollands/Grange Waters.

A fine drake Goosander was on Alexander lake on the Mollands complex before being flushed by some fisherman.

The female LONG-TAILED DUCK still on Grange Waters site, now for at least its 20th day showing well and looks like its gonna stay for the winter.

A Woodcock was the only other bird of note flushed from a flooded field.

some dodgy digiscope shots.

Sunday 16 December 2012

Buff-Bellied Pipit

Didn't leave home till 9:30 this morning after Jono convinced me to go for this bird, and glad I did !!

After having a very surprised smooth run around the M25, I was upon the banks of the Queen mother Res in Berks just after 10.30 and was treated to stonking views of this bird often too close for the camera focus!! Having been lucky enough to see two of these on my last two Shetland trips, it was great to catch up with this London first and bar far the most confinding, showing down to just a few feet.

and #272 London

prints for sale £100,000,000 each + p&p

Saturday 15 December 2012

Waxwings at Lakeside

On way to our North Kent survey today it would have been terribly rude to drive past some Waxwings in Costco's car-park Lakeside thurrock, where 5 performed rather well before being joined by another 9, only to be spooked by a flyover Sparrowhawk.

Cliffe pools held both Common and Velvet Scoter, several Scaup and good numbers of Goldeneye and Pintail, a colour ringed Greenshank was also seen.

Reaching our survey site for high tide we found good numbers of Golden Plover and Lapwing and Dunlin using the flooded fields, several Marsh Harrier and Common Buzzard over.

Four Bearded Tits along the fleet and nearly squashed a Jack Snipe.

The River held several Red throat diver's and a single Scaup.

Tuesday 11 December 2012


One of my favourite ducks is the Shoveler, and at this time of the year numbers build up in my local park, when the weather turns cold these birds pile in from north western Europe and with a bit of patience you can get pretty close to these as they feed close to the edge in the shallows.

females are smart
males are stunning ....

Sunday 9 December 2012


Popped into Cliffe Pools RSPB before our survey site yesterday where the fem Velvet Scoter showed well on the radar pool amongst the most Little grebes I've ever seen on one site which must of totalled some 200 birds !!

Probably near on a thousand Black-Tailed Godwit roosting, Explans why were not seeing many up river, at least 19 Goldeneye on north quarry with a single 1w drake Scaup was nice.

some I phone scoped pics

The recent cold weather saw our survey site increase dramatically with Waders and Wildfowl with big numbers of both Lapwing and Golden Plover and some four and half thousand Wigeon whereas last months counts weren't even worth mentioning.

Several thousand Knot wheeled around and good numbers of both Grey Plover and Curlew fed on the low tide.

A pair of Peregrines harassed the lapwing as well as several Marsh Harrier, 5 Common Buzzards and a single Merlin.

A pair of Bearded Tits showed well with a single Cetti's heard.


Sunday 2 December 2012

Long-Tailed Duck

With Waxwing fever gripping the nation I decided to try a few local water bodies, with the last few night temperatures plummeting to below freezing I headed to the Mollands lane complex in search of some winter duck and was rewarded in finding a female LONG-TAILED DUCK on the Grange waters boating lake.

Bizarrely the only ever time I had been to grange waters was to twitch a L-T duck that Mo had found some ten year or so ago !! and was discussing this earlier !!

I phone scoped pics

The lake was closed on arrival so some stalking around the back was in order if anyone plans to visit this site.

Pretty quiet otherwise the usual duck and grebes, siskin and still plenty of winter thrushes around.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Rainham Waxwing

Twitched a long awaited Rainham tick for me in the shape of a Waxwing having missed the ''FLOCKS''  in the big invasion year 0f 2010, saw the bird from the balcony before moving for a closer look on the Garrison estate.

Managed a poor record shot in awful conditions.

The bird spent most of the time up in a horse chestnut, but came down to munch some berries occasionally before being pushed of by a local Blackbird.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

New Mucking Reserve

Visited the new Essex wildlife Trust reserve at Mucking today, and what a great location, situated on the top of the old mucking tip sitting high looking east towards the Thames estuary, this site will be a must for all river watchers in favourable conditions.

A spanking new visitor's centre with friendly staff and good catering, and a brand new hide overlooking Mucking flats.

The new Centre
Mecca for all river watchers.....
view from hide
ringtail Hen Harrier harassed by crow.
The reserve produced a stunning ringtail Hen Harrier, Peregrine, Little Egret both Green and Common sandpipers and shed loads of waders on the river.
Four pairs of Stonechat was a good score.