Sunday 31 March 2013

Wanstead Flats

Decided to have a morning on the Cheeky Boys patch whilst they were filthy twitching Scotland.
The plan was to find a Bluethroat and a Hoopoe but with the weather as it is at the moment had to settle with just the regular species I'm afraid, though I did have a fly threw Tree Pipit which was probably the highlight but it was just nice to bird somewhere else and a change of scenery and I will certainly be back very soon, SO  BEWARE WANSTEAD CREW.......

Friday 29 March 2013

Masey Waxwings

Yesterday's Goosander seemed to have done a bunk overnight thus pleasing me that this was a genuine wild bird.

Alan located the 10+ Waxwings that Peter had seen the previous day, though being harder to find as these birds are feeding high up in poplar trees munching on the fresh buds so proving a tad elusive than you would normally find this species.

A Green Sandpiper along the stream was late wintering bird.

Barking Bay was quiet this morning bar a pair of Common Scoter (site year tick) and are probably the same pair that have been seen at several sites along the river.

3rd record for me at the mighty masey.

Thursday 28 March 2013


News broke that a drake Goosander was found (by Peter Beckenham) this morning at the mighty Masey Park, but the bird apparently coming to bread.  I just had to take a look myself and have a gander!!

The bird was still there this evening and as Peter said was coming to bread.  Getting cracking views of this normally shy species the bird is unringed and shows a couple of primary feathers missing of its left wing.  Does this mean this is of captive origin??  Reading on the net and talking to several others this evening its not unprecedented that Goosander can and will take bread in harsh/cold conditions.

So the jury is out, comments as always welcome.

Monday 25 March 2013


After today's last Essex winter bird survey myself and Shaunboy headed to ferry lane (rainham) to have a crack at the Black Redstart's that have taken up residents on the foreshore.  It was bitterly cold, but all three birds were still showing well and were now joined by a couple of Northern Wheatears,  a single Stonechat, and a couple of Robins just to keep you on your toes!!

With few insects on the wing it seemed all the birds were feeding on sea slaters a relative of the common woodlouse.

An added bonus- we picked up 3 Kittiwakes behind a ship moving up to Dagenham dock.

Monday 18 March 2013

Dipper Continued

So after leaving you all in suspense last night!! The last photo was of course an ''Otter'' What a super animal and my first British one, having only seen these before on the Shetland islands.  And what a showy individual he was (assuming he was a he, was marking territory alot?)

I followed him up river for about half a mile, and then back down again.  He was constantly fishing and seemed to be very successful with a catch every other dive.

An amazing encounter and one I will not forget.  If you get the chance go and see for yourself.

Stumbled upon 20 Waxwings in Thetford on the way home and then realised I had dipped the dipper!!
Oh well, another excuse to come back to this fabulous place.

U cant see them all........

Sunday 17 March 2013

Dipper !!

Had a morning up at Nuns bridge, Thetford today to hopefully connect with the long staying continental dipper that has been papped onto every blog, forum, new's paper in East Anglia and beyond.......

Arriving just after 7:30 still pissing down with rain I ventured north along the river thet and chatting to various people it seemed that the bird had been a bit hard to catch up with off late, perhaps getting ready to head back home or perhaps just feeding elsewhere.

But still this beautiful place has plenty to offer, with singing Nuthatch, Marsh Tits, Goldcrest, Siskins, Grey Wagtails all still fairly scarce in east London and Treecreeper(s) which showed exceptionally well and perhaps the best Ive ever seen and with the rain now easing off I had a great couple of hours with the camera enjoying such species.

mmmmmm this is not a bird ?? 

More on this chap tomorrow.............

Sunday 10 March 2013

Black-Headed X Med Gull ??

Found this putative Bhg x med gull as we came of our survey site yesterday, pictures not great and are heavily cropped but looks to be a hybrid, comment's more than welcome.


Found this little chap running along the foreshore on the Hoo peninsular yesterday, constantly on the move and pretty hard to photograph as it would disappear amongst the boulders popping up several yards further each time.

With Lambing season well underway it was nice to see so many youngsters out.