Monday 11 January 2016

High Tide Survey 10/1/16

Hopefully this weeks cold weather could stir up some avian movement, With the mild weather continuing our survey site seems to be holding the same birds.

Avocets settle down to roost on river thames

Apart from the large Avocet flock which has only come from north of the river its pretty much a repeat of the previous visit, The Short-eared owl continues to perform and was out hunting late morning, Probably due to the amount of rain through the night making it unable to hunt successfully.

Common Buzzard

Saturday 9 January 2016

Siberian Chiffchaff Rainham Marshes RSPB 9/1/16

Started late this morning walking east from ferry lane against an increasing blowing south easterly, and that horrible drizzly rain that really gets you wet!

A couple of grey wags along the foreshore and two Green Sands was the best I could muster.  Reaching aveley bay car park I headed towards the serin mound.  I was stopped in my tracks by a familiar call that gave me flashbacks to being back on Shetland!  Sib chiffy I said to myself.

The bird eventually played ball and showed really well and constantly calling, very unlike our own 'hweet' collybita this was more of a 'heee' almost reminding of a squeaky door or swing.

The bird had very pale underparts, grey/brown mantle, very black legs and the classic green wing panel, rump and tail, almost snow ball like appearance in dark cover, absolute cracking bird.

Sunday 3 January 2016

North Kent 2/1/16

Straight back into the North Kent survey yesterday in blustery conditions, though a touch milder than the last couple of days.

Small birds were fairly thin on the ground due to the strong south easterly blowing across the site, but a big increase in waders were noted.  Especially Black-tailed Godwit and surprising Avocet.  The latter normally arriving in March coming from East Tilbury.  Were these just seeking protection from the wind or are they about to disperse for breeding?  I hear of several east Anglian reserves that have them already.

The Peregrine pair were back on site having not seen them for some time, and even manage to watch the female take a kill with the tiercel flying alongside almost chaperoning the larger female.

The river was productive with five GREAT SKUA heading out east and a flock of eleven LITTLE GULL (all adults) west late morning.

No sign of any Merlin today but this Short-eared owl continues to show well, assuming this is the same bird we had back in November.

A stop of at Aveley Bay on the way home produced a flock of nine LITTLE GULL lingering in front of Erith yacht club, were some of these part of the flock from this morning?

Five Brent Geese on the reserve were also a good patch year tick.

Friday 1 January 2016

New Years Day, Patch List Begins.

Always the most exciting day of the year on the patch, Started well just after 06:30am adding Barn Owl along the entrance track.

Before light broke many birds in song and a flyby Shortie bombs past.
The river held Blackwit, Dunlin, Curlew, Redshank and a single Ringo.
Egyptian Goose on wennington was a local mega and was probably the bird of the day.
A couple more Shorties showed around the serin mound.

A single Water Pipit from the butts hide and the over wintering Dartford Warbler was the best birds that the reserve had to offer, though a goldcrest in the woodland was a good tricky bird to connect with this early on.

elusive Dartford Warbler

much showier Stonechat

Ended my visit on 75 species, not bad for six hours and was back home for lunch.  2015 ended with 132 and my best year was 162 so will see what this year has to offer.