Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Rainham Raven's

Popped into the stone barges yesterday afternoon hoping for some gull action, couldn't find anything unusual amongst the regulars, but did get good views of both Ravens as they harassed the gulls coming off the tip towards the river thames.

The birds were about 100yds east of the stone barges carpark if your interested in seeing these.










Raven with Carrion crow









both Ravens



                                      
Raven & carrion crow with common gull in foreground

A single ruff a further 300yds east was the only other bird of note,


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

East Tilbury 20/1/14

Had a high tide survey today and was expecting the river to be full of wildfowl, as temperatures overnight fell well below zero - freezing most of the water bodies.

The only noticeable increase though was of Teal, with many feeding close to the margins.  Usual wader numbers were seen and not a single grebe or diver came up river!

Passerine wise, a single Yellowhammer over east and the usual 30 strong flock of Corn Bunting on the saltings of note.  At least three pairs of Stonechat added with a particular showy pair halfway along the seawall, allowing very close views - often too close for the camera to focus on.





















































Sunday, 18 January 2015

Weekend Highlights

Spent the last couple of hours of light at the west end of Rainham on Saturday, which produced two patch year ticks in the shape of a Common Buzzard roosting on a hawthorn on the silts, and a Green Sandpiper flew onto Wennington marsh.


Today was the first Kent survey of the New year for me and Mo.  Arriving just before light we stumbled upon no fewer than 5 Little Owls and two distant Tawny's calling.

On my transit one of the first birds I stumble across is an Iceland Gull on the new created flash, just west of egypt bay.  No sooner had I set my scope up - the bird took off and departed over the seawall never to be seen again!!  The bird seemed to be a 3rd winter type and could have possibly been the bird seen around Rainham landfill in the week by Dom.

Onwards it was nice to see Brents and several hundred curlew using the new habitat to roost, though the local Peregrine was always keeping the birds on their toes.

Several Marsh Harriers, Buzzards and a single Merlin were the other raptor highlights and the Skylark flock still peaking at around 200 birds.

The highlight of the morning was watching a very smart Kingfisher, which fished the small ditch along the site access track, giving great views for us both.















Late evening twitch to Rainham to score 3 adult White fronts which were found on wennington brings my score along nicely to 83, with thanks to H for getting news out.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

80 Scored!

Patch Update: Managed a couple of hours on both Saturday & Sunday, adding Little Egret (unusually low numbers on site) and a cracking Water Pipit on the target pools viewed from the butts hide, both Ravens showed well on purfleet scrape (sat).

Jack Snipe on the foreshore this morning but little else in breezy conditions, though good numbers of Dunlin on the reserve despite it being low tide.








Dunlin



Personal Year List stands at 80, with our group list of 87 i think.

Team Members -  aka The Raptors
Dave Morrison
Shaun Harvey
Dominic Mitchell

Friday, 2 January 2015

Rainham Tip 2/1/15

First Gull ringing session of the new year today, did briefly think about going to Yorkshire to stare into a empty field for several hours but then sanity kicked in! :-)

Anyway today was all about Black-headed gulls with two fairly small catches today totaling 201 birds all processed and colour ringed to.




black heads are always the first to arrive but soon get pushed out by the bigger birds.



Smaller numbers of both Herring and Lesser black backed also ringed with half a dozen Common gulls thrown in, and a single 1w Yellow legged to.






1w yellow legged gull




upper wing shot on yellow leg.



Just outside the catch area two 1st winter Caspian Gulls seen alongside one 2nd winter bird, three adult yellow legs also noted.




One of the 1w Caspians here:

















Monday, 29 December 2014

Wallasea Island 29/12/14

My first jaunt out to this new RSPB reserve for me this afternoon accompanied by Mo, We saw no fewer than six Short-eared Owls in view at one time, as well as at least one ringtail Hen Harrier and the superb Rough-legged Buzzard, which gave great scope views despite looking into the sun.

The owls never came really that close despite us using the car as a hide, great birds to watch though.




















rough leg





ringtail   

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Rainham RSPB 28/12/14

Got along the seawall early doors today, and as luck would have it just caught sight of the 3 Bewick's Swans heading off the reserve south @07:48.  Over the river Thames, up over crayford and continued south.

This has happened a few times in recent years with birds coming in late to roost and heading off at first light, so was well pleased I connected.

Walking down towards the centre it was evident that the first real cold spell of the winter had shaken a few birds around.  With both Fieldfare and Redwing seen in good numbers and plenty of wildfowl & waders shuffling around.








After catching up with H & Dom in the centre I headed out back west along the seawall adding a pair of Stonechat and a flock of Golden Plover over.  Scanning across the target pools I could see another stocky white swan which turned out to be another Bewick, and shortly after another bird passed infront of me over the seawall to join.





With both Peregrine (carrying prey) and Raven west over wennington, it turned out not a bad couple of hours birding with the regular Marsh harriers and Buzzard also noted.




























Lets hope the swans stick around for the new year for when there could be some serious competition materialising. Watch this space!