Sunday, 26 April 2015

Twenty one tick weekend.

Well, its been over a month since my last post, due to not much to post about, and a family holiday abroad (more on that later).

With most of the migrants in now, I was keen to get out and boost my patch year list.  Adding Swallow, Whitethroat, both Reed & sedge warblers, Wheatear, Hobby, Common Tern & Common sand on Friday afternoon.

Saturday morning while the family caught up on sleep - I caught up on Gropper and Sand Martin. With not much else doing I ditched the patch to twitch Tony Brown's stunning Wood Warbler on nearby Wanstead flats + stumbled on a cracking male Whinchat to help out my east London colleagues.

A Wanstead Whinchat

Saturday afternoon - back at Rainham adding Whimbrel (five of), Corn Bunting from the new path across the tip, and two Yellow wagtail on wennington.

Thanks to Shaunboy for putting me on a Red Kite on the east end of the tip.

This morning looked perfect for a river watch overcast, rain and a northerly.  Me and mo met up and after a couple of hours produced just 4 Arctic Tern! Still cant complain.

The woodland held both Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, House Martin & Swift added over Purfleet scrape.

Star bird though went to a SHORT-EARED OWL picked up by phil over crayford marsh, viewed from the comfort of the balcony at the centre.

Cuckoo late evening was my final bird of the weekend.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Kent Survey 21/3/14

So yesterday was our last Kent survey of the winter and couldn't have ended any better for me when I stumbled on this cracking Shorelark.

The bird was in with a small group of Skylark in stubble just south of egypt bay.  Managed a couple of distant record shots before continuing on with my survey.

This has been my third winter surveying this site and between myself and Mo has produced some great birds, Rough-legg, Hen Harrier, Iceland Gull, GG Shrike, 3 Richards, Snow Bunt, wild swans & geese, the list goes on....  hopefully Im back next winter.

Marsh Harrier numbers are now down with birds moving off to their breeding grounds, a few birds are staying.

This Black-tailed godwits life came to an untimely end, presume peregrine fodder!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Brecks

Had most of the day up in the Brecks with Monkey on Sunday, Starting at Lynford it wasn't long before we connected with 3 Hawfinch beyond the feeders, cracking scope views of these birds along side several Brambling, including a spanking male and more Siskins than you can shake a stick at!

With the barbour brigade turning up it was time to move on, next stop Santon Downham.

Parking by the bridge we walked east along the river catching a brief glimpse of a Lessser spot, and another drumming further along.  The river produced great views of both Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher, and both Lesser redpoll and Bullfinch in the scrub.

We located the Great Grey Shrike some 500m past the small church as it hunted both sides of the river, and it was great to have this bird to ourselves with not another birder in sight.

Carrying bumble-bee

The walk back produced a singing Woodlark in the carpark and several Marsh Tits.

Onto one of the well known Goshawk sites before the weather decided to close in we picked up several birds over the woods and a closer bird above with two buzzards.

Last stop of the day before the rain, Mayday Farm, Amazing how quick the plantations grow in ten years! The drinking pool gave us some fun with the camera with lots of birds coming down to drink - including many Coal tit, redpoll & Siskin.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Pictures from the Park

Some more pictures from Hyde park on Saturday.

this Cormorant had no fear!

many of the bhg's now with hoods.

Hard to avoid these now!

bring some monkey nuts along.

male Tawny owl stands guard.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Greater Scaup Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens 7/3/15

Had an hour in Hyde Park this morning where the drake 1w Scaup is now looking alot smarter than I previously saw him just after the new year.

The bird was in the Lido with several tufties until the swimmers flushed him to the centre of the serpentine.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Patch Update

Again a couple of hours on the patch on both Saturday & Sunday resulting in just one extra tick in the shape of this Grey Wagtail.


Last weeks white-winger still causing some debate as to being a Glauc! 50/50 response so far, though personally now swinging to the bigger larid.

Monday, 16 February 2015

2nd Winter Iceland Gull, Rainham 16-02-15

Managed to grab the last hour of light at the stone barges this afternoon, having put in a few hours recently hoping for my first white-winger of the year.

With Jack in tow we headed in the drizzle east past the stone barges, and amongst the loafing gulls on the river I caught sight of a good candidate within the melee.  Having to prize my bins off the little fella who was looking for non-existing aeroplanes in the gloom, the bird played ball and past by not too distantly allowing me to grab a few record shots.

comments welcome on age if disagree.

The bird was seen again just before dusk on the gantry, by the stone barges before flying east down river.