Monday 28 January 2013

Weekend bits

My Saturday morning Gull ringing session got cut short when I broke down just two miles after leaving home, luckily the RAC were drafted in and had me back on the road within the hour, decided to go to the patch and was rewarded with three Golden Plover on the mud, quite a scarce bird this far up the Thames.

At the outfall still good numbers of duck, no sign of last weeks Pochard, but good numbers of Gadwall, Tufted and Shoveler.

Had a Curlew accompanied surprisingly with two Bar-Tailed Godwits that flew east towards the bay, having still not added Blackwit this year, these are bar far the more commoner species of the two and never normally adding bar-wit till the spring migration.

Chiffchaff was new, bringing my Barking Bay year list to 61.

After a great family evening In Leicester I managed a couple of hours just across the river in Dartford for the Slavonian Grebe that has been showing well for over a week now, what a fantastic bird and great to see so close.

plenty of these around too.......

Sunday 20 January 2013

Snowy Sunday....

The Snow has finally arrived and today after work me and little Jack went to the Mighty Masey to try out the sledge that has been sitting by the front door since early December!!

Pictures say it all........

some parents go health & safety mad !....

A quick look around the half frozen lake, managed a few pics, the stream produced two GREEN SANDPIPERS, and at least a dozen SNIPE, and several Teal.

Tringa Freezer.....

Saturday 19 January 2013

Cold Kent and Common gull recovery.

Second day of surveys today, and now I'm feeling really cold !!! having been out in that freezing east wind, chill factor bloody minus 7or 8 , it was nice to get back to the car and thaw out.

A great start when a herd of 12 BEWICK'S flew low east over the marsh, always brilliant seeing wild swans and just as we predicted too.

Birds were fairly thin on the ground today, although Wigeon numbers were again high, Lapwing and Golden Plover were all over the site making them hard to count.

A single Jack Snipe flushed was the only other highlight of the low tide survey.

Usual Peregrine and Marsh Harrier were the only raptors of note.

Returning Home I popped into the mighty Mayesbrook Park and found one of our colour ringed Common Gulls on the Ice, apparently the first recovery of this species.

Common Gull - 2AAV ringed at rainham landfill on 11.02.12

Friday 18 January 2013

Teal for Lunch.

Today's Survey started well in flushing Two Woodcock on my Thameside Essex site, both birds came out of an overgrown ditch that was free of Ice, Some displaced Snipe were also around in numbers as were Lapwing and the odd Golden Plover and Curlew.

Stumbled upon a Water Rail that was in the smallest ditch in the world, amazing what cold weather does!

On the salting a female Peregrine smashed into a Teal, amazing site to see as the bird then struggled to take it to a nearby pylon.

peregrine takeaway !

Several Corn Buntings were feeding alongside Skylark and Reed Bunts, and Two Green Sandpiper flew overhead.

Some c500 Avocets were feeding on the mud with smaller numbers of Black-Tailed Godwit, Redshank and Grey plover.

Wednesday 16 January 2013


News of the Culling of 10 Ruddy Ducks on a London Reservoir today by them wankers DEFRA .

When will people learn to keep there mouths shut.........

Parakeets Next ??

Saturday 12 January 2013

Quality Kent

Another Survey day for me and Mo, but once again a brief stop a Cliffe produces the goods, this time we tried the Alpha pools where we found no fewer than seven Scaup ( 2drk 2 1w drk & 3f ) and also a drake Lesser Scaup hybrid type that apparently been doing the rounds, all these were in a mixed flock of both  Tufted and Pochard.

Two adult Little Stint were a bonus, as were a superb male Merlin sitting on the defence wall.

Several Goldeneye were noteworthy as were Cettis Warbler and Marsh Harrier.

Onto our Survey site for a High Tide count and already lots of waders are moving onto there roost sites, mainly Lapwing, Dunlin, and both Grey and Golden Plover in good numbers.


dunlin & grey plover

No fewer than Eight Marsh Harrier's noted was by far the most birds we have seen on this site and two fem Merlin seen,  including one which took a Meadow Pipit clean out of the air.

Several pinging Beardies and a Green Sandpiper were seen just before the seawall.

On the river the cold east wind produced a single Razorbill, at least a dozen Red-throated divers and a surprise Bonxie moving out the estuary.

great skua

Monday 7 January 2013

Ringing Saturday 5-01-13

Had a few hours out ringing up in Herts on Sunday morning on our private farmland site, which produced a good variety of species which included the following birds processed :

Wren 2
Dunnock 2
Robin 1 ( retrap )
Blackbird 3
Redwing 1
Goldcrest 1 (retrap )
Blue Tit 1
Great Tit 1
Chaffinch 2
Yellowhammer 2