Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Late Brood

Saturday's ringing session looked like to be a washout with heavy downpours and thunder & lightening on arrival at the farm, shortly after 7am the rain had stopped and we got the nets open.

First round produced my first ever Jay along with a few Goldcrest which were also the first ones of the Autumn.

47 new birds in total included several more Meadow Pipits and a couple of Blackcap.









Nice surprise was a late brood of Barn owls from one of the boxes around the farm containing five almost fully flrdged birds, which are about to leave any day now.








Monday, 22 September 2014

Masked Shrike - Kilnsea 21/09/14

Cant believe it has taken me Forty years for my first ever Spurn trip!  Probably the 4 hour drive that has always put me off, but with Monkey chomping at the bit to twitch Britain's third ever Masked Shrike, and was willing to chauffeur me, it would be terribly rude not to join him on this East Yorkshire adventure!

Leaving at just before 5am it wasn't till about 06:45 we received news on the bird still being present via Twitter, making the rest of the journey far more relaxing,

Arriving about 08:30 with already c100 birders in the vicinity it wasn't long before we were enjoying good views of the shrike, albeit distant.

In the same hedge, flocks of Tree Sparrows fell from the sky and landed joining all three flycatchers, Redstarts and various warblers and Whinchats! Amazing sight.

An OBP was elusive a Barred warbler less so topped off a great mornings birding,





Another go at the Shrike found the bird much closer as it hunted crane flys on the ground.











 Another RB fly & a couple more redstarts at Sammys and we headed home in time for tea.




Sunday, 14 September 2014

Ringing - 14/09/14

47 New birds rung this morning and only two retraps, highlights 10 Meadow Pipits, 2 Bullfinch, 2 Song thrush, 8 Greenfinch and one each of chiffy & blackcap.








Saturday, 13 September 2014

Whinchat - Rainham 13/09/14

Its got to be one of the best Autumns for Whinchats this year, with good numbers being seen daily at Rainham Marshes RSPB and many other local patches, up to double figures can be seen from one end of the reserve to the other.


This rather obliging chap was just east of the stone barges.
























Monday, 8 September 2014

GWE - Rainham Marshes RSPB

Hatched a last minute plan to twitch today's Great White Egret at Rainham marshes this evening, viewing from the bridge on New tank hill road, the bird could be seen feeding in the centre of aveley pools before flying off east only to return to purfleet scrape (in front of the visitors centre) to roost.






Fairly quiet weekend, the Mayesbrook Pied fly was still about Saturday morning but no sign of Fridays Spot fly that was less mobile!





Spotty

After a good ringing session on Sunday, I had a walk around the west end of Rainham producing 6 +  Whinchat, good numbers of Yellow wags and a single Hobby and my first Painted Lady of the Autumn.





Hobby crosses the Thames




Painted Lady


Monday, 1 September 2014

Flocking Flycatchers

Well the last day of August ended on a high with all the East London patches scoring with both Spotted Flycatchers and Whinchat, lets hope September is just as rewarding, and if not more!!

The Ingrebourne Valley produced almost double figures of the former, and Wanstead producing more. Both Rainham and Dagenham chase also scoring.

These pics were taken yesterday at the Valley.











Sunday, 31 August 2014

Pitsea catch 30/08/14

Pretty tough going yesterday, with it being a bit breezy their was lots of plastic bags and paper blowing across the catch area making birds fairly skittish, we eventually took one catch late morning when a few big gulls settled down and it was safe to do so.

66 New birds processed, all colour ringed:

Black-headed gull - 1
Great black-backed gull - 3
Lesser black-backed gull - 7
Herring gull - 52
Yellow-legged gull - 3





2nd summer Lesser





Lesser's are well worth colour ringing, with previous recoveries as far south as the north African coast of the Gambia, quite amazing how far they travel to their northen breeding grounds.







me with one the the yellow-legged