Saturday, 31 December 2011

Weald Park

After getting the preperations for my dads birthday tomorrow; the girls asked if they could feed the ducks so we took a trip to Weald Park to feed both ducks and deer.

The usual flock of Jackdaw were grabbing food from around the deer enclosure; their numbers do seem to be more than usual.

On the main lake plenty of Black Headed Gull, Mallard, Coot, Canada Geese, Tufted Duck & Mute Swan.

Lee's Local Birding

Lee's Local Birding
After emptying 3/4 of a loaf into the water we headed over to the other lake, this time more for me than them as reading Dave's (DMG Hx Birder's) blog dated 19th/20th i wanted to try a catch up with the Goosanders, if they were still there,  as the only views i have had of these good looking birds was a distant view in the surf at Titchwell.

Taking note of the comments about the flight of these birds we stopped some distance away as at the far end were 5 birds. Not great shots with the compact but it was good to see them until a family headed down the other end with some dogs and put them to flight.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Quiet Tylers Common & Wood

Tylers is fast becoming my quick fix; when i have only a short space of time i normally seem to end up here. Its Upminster / Harold Wood and i'm Hornchurch but it's quicker getting here than to Ingrebourne Valley for me.

Arriving at about 10am i was here for about 45 minutes; slight wind, overcast and with a threat of rain.

I took my now usual route down the left of the new plantation, the Linet flock here was c25. Blue & Great Tits calling and flitting from tree to tree.

At the bottom was the highlight of the hour, two Kestrels hunting. One to the far left the other to the far right. The one on the right catching prey and flying off over the lower paddock.

Redwing numbers on the wood side were higher than previuos with 13 birds being seen.

Magpie & Carrion Crow in the lower paddock and Woodpigeon (just the one) flying over.

On the connecting path between Wood & Common the Redwing numbers were about 25-30 so may be the food is getting lower so there spreading out and venturing over the to Wood side now.

Over at the Upper Paddock a group of Chaffinch x28 with also a probable Stock Dove x2 but i didnt get eneough on them. They were not Woodpigeon but could have been Feral. Shame really as Stock Dove would have been a patch tick but i havnt counted them.

It was then a client called and i spent the rest of the walk around the common talking the initial stages of financing the purchase of a retail outlet, so back to the car.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Tylers Common & Wood - Xmas Eve

Arriving at the Wood car park at 8am, it was slighlty chilly up on the hill with clear skies and little wind.

Heading down hill between the bridel way and the left plantation numerous Tits, Blue & Great - still no sign of any Coal tits. A Grey Heron flew over.

At the bottom of the plantation looking over the valley a Great Spotted Woodpecker also over. In the Hawthorn i saw what i initially thought was one of the many Redwing but it was my first Fieldfare of the winter period.

courtesy of
No Pied Wagtails in the lower paddock but plenty of Magpie & Carrion Crow along with a group of Common Gull x8.

Up the bridel path connecting Wood with Common and good numbers of Redwing, easily c40 in the valley to the left and close in the trees to the right. Chaffinch, Robin & Pheasant also present.

Nothing in the upper paddock.

Onto the Common and another Grey Heron, this time standing on a pathway. Not the same bird as the other headed off in the other direction and i watched it for some time time, although i suppose it could have circled back.

A group of Canada Goose x7 headed low over the common, very low, they were about 8 foot of the ground.

x7 over the common today

The pond was unusually busy with a large tit flock that this timed contained Coal Tits x2. Two more Great Spotted Woodpecker flew in different directions and a Green Woodpecker was in the trees edging the coomon and road. Plenty of Wren by the pond.

Patch list increased by 4 with a nice mornings walk

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Tylers Wood

This afternoon at about 1sh i set of with number one son to get some air, after being couped up all morning. It turned out to be a mission, i took the wrong buggy. I took the, chuck in the boot about towner, rather than the place in the boot the 3 wheeled air filled tyre out door off roader. As such by the time we had got to the bottom of the bridel path the wheels were clogged and it was slow progress.

After the other days visit i was looking foward to counting Redwing numbers - i did Zero today.

Plenty of Blue & Great Tit heading down the hill. Dunnock and Blackbirds flew in and out of the trees zig zagging a path in front.

New patch tick for me though, a group of 38 Pied Wagtail in the lower paddock.

courtesy of

Monday, 19 December 2011

Mobile Birding - Peregrine

On the way to St Albans, stuck in traffic at the A1/M junction with M25 and a Peregrine has just dropped onto the top of the lamp post a few ahead of me!

iPhone Posting

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Tylers Common Patch Increases

With clear skies, frosty floor and little wind i decided to head over to Tylers Wood to have a look for Bullfinches; it tunrns out i did not see any but i managed to increase my patch list by 6.

Parking at the top by Pages Wood as normall; although now being forced to since the councils crack down on dogging and closing the other car park; i set off down the left edge towards the valley.

At the bottom, i scanned the Hawthorn trees looking for Redwing and found the initial 4 along with a few Black Birds. At this time a single Ring Necked Parakeet flew over and a Skylark followed calling as it went.

courtesy of
Over the little stream and heading up the bridle way revealed a large number of Redwing, probably 30 odd just in this little area. A Green Woodpecker called and flew from one tree to another some distance off but along the stream itself flushing a male Pheasant.

Heading over to the stable and fields, two Mallard were in the ditch and numerous Magpie & Carrion Crow were in the fields.

A tit flock over by the little pond contained Blue, Great & Long Tailed. Strangely both Great & Long Tailed Tits being patch firsts.

of the regular gulls heading over, 2x Common Gull, 2x Lesser Black but mainly Black Headed Gull.

Down by doggers bench i could hear a Song Thrush; strange how the council seemed to react about the area when the local residents announced they were taking things into their own hands and photographing individuals and then posting them on facebook and twitter - unsure off it actually happenned but a few local web sites were publishing this was the case. Anyway was nice to know you could survey the area without getting a nasty supprise!

Back in Tylers Wood a female Kestrel slowly flew and the hoverred over the new plantations.

Patch list now to 35

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Tylers Common - Uncommon

With very little water over at Tylers one thing i was sure of was that the patch my list would exclude general wildfowl & waders unless they were flying over.

There are two postage stamp size ponds so was supprised to see a Moorhen strutting its stuff along the roadside edge this afternoon on my way back from the office.

courtesy of
This takes my Tylers list to 29 and i also need to pay a visit to try and locate the Bullfinches seen there last week.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Rainham Marshes

Luckily for me the wife had been at the purchasing / reserving for Christmas; so with orders to head to Lakeside for 11am to start picking bits up while she stayed at home with the kids i mentioned that i was posative the traffic would be awful and that leaving earlier would be the best thing to do.

"yes, you can stop at Rainham on the way, just make sure you are in the shops for eleven."

and i hadnt even asked....result.

or not as the case may be; dopped the bins in the car park and there now out of alignment so im seeing double, however i continued in.

It was worth it as i headed to the Barretts Hide via the Woodland Area. A Kingfisher, i have not seen one of these since August.

courtesy of
Just outside the window in Barretts Hide was a single Black Tailed Godwit alowing some long and excellent close up views. A Ruff walked around on the mud far out.

Viewing Aveley Pools from the two small areas along the Northern Trail saw plenty of Golden Plover, Lapwing, Wigeon, Shoveller & Teal. An individual Dunlin mixed within them along with 3x Common Snipe, the first i have seen over there this autumn/winter.

Others seen: Blue, Great & Long Tailed Tits, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Redwing, Woodpigeon, Collard Dove, Stonechat, Mallard, Little Egret, Moorhen, Black Headed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Chaffinch, House Sparrow, Cormorant

Friday, 2 December 2011

Rainham Marshes

A quip trip at lunch time today to see the Bearded Tits was worth while as they were showing really well, with one male and three females flying between varying pools over by the number wall.

I walked on to Butts Hide and at this time the pager had beeped for 2x Common Scoter, 2x Red Brested Mergansers & 1x 1w Caspian Gull all in Aveley Bay.

The Common Scoter would be patch ticks and the Red Brested Mereganser life ticks so i went immediatley.

I connected with the Scoter straight away along with the Caspian Gull however the Mergansers i never found.

Common Scoter - Only 2 birds seen at Rainham today

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Rainham Marshes

I arrived in the RSPB car park at 7.40am. Immediatley greated with the flight calls of two Ring Necked Parakeet I  set off down the river side of the Thames wall heading on my usual route. The wind was Westish and very strong. The clouds dark with rain and heading quickly in my direction.

A male Reed Bunting flew into the wind along side me heading in the same direction; it didnt look to be making much progress and dropped into the grass to my left. A steady stream of mixed gulls, Common, Herring, Lesser Black Backed & Great Black Backed all headed low up river towards the landfill. Black Headed Gulls sat about on the shoreline.

A group of 6 Rock Pipit messing in the seaweed and possibly a Water Pipit in the grass / mud edging, it looked clean but i couldnt get enough on it, a lot lighter than the Rock Pipits seen just before but too much wind noise to hear anything.

Numerous Teal, Mallard, Wigeon swam in the waters edge and Cormorant were busy diving in mid water.

By the time i got to Aveley Bay i was windswept, too much water in my eyes and now was getting rather wet from a steady drizzle. Aveley Bay didnt hold much, more of the same along with some Lapwing & Shelduck. No Black Tailed Godwit or Redshank to be seen. About 6 Pied Wagtail flew over into the reserve along with a Kestrel up by the small car park.

I headed back to the reserve and got there just as the draw bridge was being lowered, nothing different on the way back apart from Goldfinch, House Sparrow & Greenfinch on the feeders both in car park and reserve. Chaffinch and Collard Dove were also present.

Heading to the Purfleet Scrape hide to see the works being done it all looked good and seemed to be filling slowly. A large group of Greylag & Canada Geese were already making use of the recently scraped land.

No sign of the Bearded Tits and not much else until the Northern Boardwalk area where i ticked 2x Dunlin, Ruff, 3x Black Tailed Godwit & a single Golden Plover

A group of about 25 Stock Dove in the middle after the Barrets Hide along with 6 Skylark with a weak flight call being heard. The woodland area was busy but everything was low and i was running out of time so made a quick exit.

Other Birds Seen: Shoveller, Pintail, Coot, Little Grebe, Carrion Crow & not much else.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Titchwell - Norfolk

On Tuesday i was on the reserve just as light was breaking, the bird noise in the distance could be heard from the car park. Eagerly anticipating hitting the beach before meeting with my parents at 9.30, i took a quick walk down the main path, not really paying too much attention to what was going on around me.

Marsh Harriers, Skylarks, Teal, Wigeon, Little Egret about 2500 Golden Plover to name a few on the way down.

Upon reaching the beach i stood and took a look at the shore line; lots of Sanderling, Oystercatcher, Turnstone, Curlew & Redshank.

The previous day on the way up the pager had gone off for a Desert Wheatear for which i called my parents and they connected with it just off the end of the path way with many others. I had forgotten about this so far this morning until a guy appeared asking if i had seen it.

We had a chat and both decided to head left down the beach for a bit as the bird had so far been seen bewteen Holme & Titchwell. After about three quarters of a mile with numerous stops looking ahead for the bird i made may marker and advised him i wasnt going any further than the green peice of rubbish in the sea weed due to having to meet back in the car park with my parents at 9.30am. We stopped and after a couple of minutes scanning ahead i found the Wheatear. A great looking bird with its black eye mask  and throat clearly on show.

Titchwell Beach - Lee's Local Birding

Titchwell beach - Lee's Local Birding

I managed to get 3 digiscoped shots and as per usual, they were awfull. In fact so bad the Wheatear wasnt actually in any of them - o well, i'll improve i hope in time.

3 awful shots of a Desert Wheatear - actually worse than that its not in any shot

Heading back to me the parents we all had a good day with 56 different species; another three life ticks for me: the Desert Wheatear, two Goosanders and three Eiders.

Brent Geese heading over Thornham Marsh

Lee's Local Birding - view over reserve from main path

Lee's Local Birding

We tried to find the Yellow Browed Warbler that had been there for about 3 weeks now and had been seen that day around the picnic area; along with lots of others unfortunatley i didnt get it however all in all i got 5 Life ticks for the day and half in Norfolk along with one i hadnt seen since being a child so a great time was had.

Birds Seen: Desert Wheatear, Eider, Goosander, Brent Goose, Curlew, Sanderling, Mallard, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Oystercatcher, Golden Plover, Pheasant, Shoveller, Snipe, Wren, Little Egret, Skylark, Wigeon, Marsh Harrier, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Dunnock, Ruff, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Great Black Backed Gull, Black Headed Gull, Grey Plover, Robin, Cormorant, Turnstone, Goldeneye, Slavonian Grebe, Greyalg Goose, Great Crested Grebe, Avocet, Barnacle Goose, Spoonbill, Harring Gull, Common Gull, Water Rail, Chiffchaff, Blackbird, Teal, Coot, Magpie, Moorhen, House Sparrow, Wood Pigeon, Collard Dove, Starling, Pintail, Little Grebe

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Holme Dunes - Norfolk

My parents and friends have been in Titchwell for a few days and i managed to get up to Norfolk late Monday afternoon to join them on Tuesday for the day. I arrived mid afternoon so took a trip to Holme Dunes, run by Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

Its a great place and compared to the foot fall that i saw at Titchwell the following day it was deserted. A couple of guys sea watching from the dunes and the warden who was more than willing to share his knowledge of the area.

There are 3 main walkways (if you exclude just getting onto the beach), the first leads accross the top of the dunes with views of sea, dunes and marsh areas. The second is a round trip walk from the visitor center into the dunes. The last is a there and back path leading to the three hides and one screen over looking lakes, marshland and fields.

Lees Local Birding - looking back at visitors center (just in view right of pines)

Lees Local Birding - Sea watching point for when the tides in - otherwise get on the beach
I wasnt there long but managed to get two life ticks - Common & Vevet Scoters and a Grey Wagtail which i havnt seen since a child in Devon.

courtesy of

courtesy of

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Ingrebourne Valley

Arriving at the car park just before 7am it was getting light; first thing i saw was an amusing sight of a lady no more than 5ft 2 with a Great Dane. it was plane to see the reason why she was over there so early; she had absolutly no control over the dog in any way!

I was atempting the impossible (for me) to try and find the Bitterns. After reading varying blogs i headed off in what i thought was the right direction. It wasnt i couldnt even get close the reeds; back the other way; nope wrong again. In the area i though they were i walked this way and that not being able to get close enough to see the base of the reeds or the water they stood in.

Deciding this was definately a mission impossible without further info i heaeded off to the Berwick Pond area.

It was about about 7.30am when it started; Woodpigeons flying over. For 5 minutes wave after wave of them all headed in the same direction; westish. I counted what i could, after fifteen hundred i thought it was slowing down; the suddenly more and it continued for another few minutes. easily 2000-3000 birds.

Lucikly for me watching these meant i caught sight of a small brown bird fly across the path which turned out to be a patch tick for me; a Goldcrest.

At the Berwick Pond side i still didnt manage to get the Bittern so i heaed over to the area between top & bottom paddocks; plenty of Meadow Pipit, Greenfinch & Goldfinch.

Other birds seen: Pheasant, Carrion Crow, Collard Dove, Teal, Moorhen, Green Woodpecker, Skylark, Reed Bunting, Long Tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Canada Goose, Grey Heron, Mallard, Black Headed Gull, Black Bird, Song Thrush - plus i also counted about 7 Cettis Warbler singing but didnt see any.

Nice, just had a look and Song Thrush is another patch tick!

courtesy of

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Hanningfield Resevoir - Peregrine

Driving back from a clients yesterday i managed to go past Hanningfield; not going in but just stopping on the causeway gave me a patch tick there; 2 Peregrine harassing the Teal flocks on the water in an attempt to get them to take flight.

It was interesting to watch as it almost seemed they were cooperation with each other in the hunt, One would do the harassing while the other stayed higher. Any that took flight would then be dived upon from the higher bird.

It was pretty unsuccessful though and in my time there, about 15 minutes, they had about 6 groups take flight but being on mass i think it was a little confusing.

Other birds: Shoveller, Black Headed Gulls, Great Crested Grebes, Pintail, Tufted Duck, Great Black Backed Gull, Herring Gull, Cormorant, Mallard, Greylag & Canada Geese, Coot, Pochard

No sign of the Slav Grebes reported earlier that day

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Mistle Thrush - Lifer Added

On the way back from Billericay this morning, i caught a large Thrush on the top of a tree, stopping the car revealed 2 Mistle Thrushes.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Rainham Marshes

Arrived at the visitor center car park this morning by 7.30am and decided to go all the way to the Stone Barges.

A mixed Goldfinch & Greenfinch flock got me started shortly followed by 4 Rock Pipits and mixed gulls steadily headed towards the tip.

As i arrived at Aveley Bay i could yet again make out more than just Gulls at the far end; this end were two Curlew.

Getting to the far end where about 85 Black Tailed Godwit, 4 Cormorant and mixed gulls. I bumped into John Richardson who was also watching the Godwit. 85 is my largest group of these birds so i was pleased; John then mentioned that if i had been there about half hour before the number easily totalled 350 plus and they had, in groups been making there way up river toward London.

I counted about 36 Redshank dotted between Aveley Bay and the Stone Barges; Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Goldfinches, Greenfinches all to be seen on the landfill side.

Upon reaching the barges i started a search for a Water Pipit. Although one was seen yesterday i had been intending on coming up here for a bit and had been in conatct with David Darrell-Lambert for some assistance in the differences between Rock & Water Pipits. He kindly added some photographs and guidence notes on his blog for me and sent me some decent texts. No joy for me though, a couple of Rock Pipits in the same area.

Lee's Local Birding

On the way back much of the same however i did manage to get a patch tick with a solitary Brent Goose.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Warley Place

Half Term and with the littlest one not well, the older two were going stir crazy at home and needed some fresh air, so leaving work a little early (well half day) i went home and asked if they wanted to go find some birds. Now the normal repsonse to this is of late has been "noooooo daddy!!!" but today was a massive "yes".

Given the option of Hallowen Face Painting at Rainham, crawling over the aeroplane at Ingreboune or a wander in the Woods (this last one was what i hoped for today as a Firecrest was reported earlier in the week,) i was supprised when they actually opted for it.

Shortly after arriving at Warley Place, i told them what we were looking for; a really small bird with a yellow to orange stipe down the middle of his head and white eyebrows. They looked at me like i was nuts, however i was after a lifer.

So off we went, through the first gate and squeelch, "this muds really squidgy daddy" -  "thats not mud thats cow poo darling" - "oh".

We continued with both kids firmly fixated with the search in question; yes, who can find the most cow pats and the noise coming from them was enough to scsare of every bird at Warley Place and my chances of anything today slowly faded.

Strangely with the noise, the running, jumping and everything else they doing we came across a singing Robin and the girls stopped for a listen, then more birds came into a view, it was a tit group; blue tits & great tits everywhere, then a flash of orange, could it it amongst the group were 3 Goldcrests - not to be sniffed at, a patch tick for me at Warley along with another patch tick a Coal Tit.

The noisy walk continued and finished after viewing both ponds from hides and doing a full circuit.

With the girls in the car eating a packet of Pombears and with me loading the car............out of nowhere came the call i had be listening to on the iphone before we came out, scanning the Holly bushes i could see something but couldnt get a view, a few minutes later and there it was on the top outside edge - my first Firecrest - well pleased!

Goldcrest - Unknown Photographer

Firecrest - courtesy of

Other birds seen: Green Woodpecker x2, Great SPotted Woodpecker x2, Nuthatch x2, Great Tit x7, Blue Tit x9, Coal Tit, Goldcrest x3, Jackdaw x5, Carrion Crow 3, Woodpigeon, Robin x7, Blacbird

Thursday, 27 October 2011

A Rainham Marshes Forum Funny

I was looking over the Rainham Marshes Forum earlier and a post caught my eye by somebody calling themselves "Bill Oddies Beard", within the post was a forum signature as follows.....

quote "Growing up, my Mum always claimed to feel bad when a bird would slam head-first into our living room window. If she "really" felt bad, though, she'd have moved the bird feeder outside."

Made me smile

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Rainham Marshes

An early start at Rainham this morning found me in the car park at 7.30am with nobody around. I headed up the Thames towards Avely Bay finding a good mixture of birds.

More Rock Pipits than i have seen in one go before, totalling 9 and a steady stream of mixed gulls heading for the landfill site for breakfast.

A large group of Woodpigen headed from over the reserve and accross the Thames towards Kent, i counted 70 odd but there could have been more.

As i approached the bay i could make out more than just gulls, the tide was out and the sun was low coming up from over my shoulder so i new that if i walked on further and viewed it i wouldnt be able to see much becuase of the sun.

There were a few Curlew, a single Great Blacked Backed Gull, 3 Redshank along with 23 Black Tailed Godwit. Most of the Godwit flew up the Thames towards London after a few minutes.

Carrying on past the Bay i kept river side and down the side of the landfill. Meadow Pipits and Skylark were a plenty along the landfill side along with a small Linnet flock of about 12 birds. On the shore side a count of 13 Herring Gull, 12 Black Headed Gull, 8 Great Black Backed Gull and a few Lapwing.

Other Birds seen: Teal 3, Cormorant 3, Shelduck 3, Robin, Blackbird, Kestrel, Magpie, Blue Tit 3, Great Tit, Goldfinch, House Sparrow 6, Reed Bunting (F).

Friday, 21 October 2011

Two Tree Island

After a visit to a clients in Westcliffe i decided to pop over to Two Tree Island seeing as i was there, i had intended on doing Tylers Common on the way back so had the gear in the car.

First onto the East Island with the usual woodland & scrub birds. As i moved towards the far end i suddenly remembered a page from a few days back re large numbers of Dark Bellied Brent Geese being in the Leigh On Sea area. These would be a life tick so i hoped i would see a few from the far end.

I wasnt disapointed, there were loads, most were to far out to count but a bout 100 odd were close enough to ID easily. Numbers well over 1000 i would guess.

courtesy of

The other birds on the mud were 10 Curlew, few Redshank & Oystercatcher.

I moved on to the West Island sticking to the edge as i went. Once i reached the small boat yard & car park i managed to get all the way down the concrete ramp. Looking about i could see 2 Turnstone, 2 Grey Plover, 250-300 Golden Plover, 13 Ringed Plover.

courtesy of

The View from the concrete ramp:

Lee's Local Birding

Lee's Local Birding

Other birds seen on the Island: Skylark x3, Goldfinch x5, Greenfinch, Magpie, Black Headed Gull, Little Egret x4, Starling, Coot, Cettis Warbler, Lapwing, Teal x43, Wigeon x2, Mallard x34, Carrion Crow, Dunlin x6, Great Blacked Gull x15, Common Gull x4, Herring Gull.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Rainham Marshes

A trip to see if  could catch the Bearded Tits that were seen yesterday and heard this morning failed but i did manage to get my first Stonechast of the season; two male & one female.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Rainham Marshes - Cettis Warbler (Audio)

Managed to record two different Cettis Warblers today at Rainham Marshes, one in the Woodland Area the other in the reeds after Barretts Hide. This one was from the Woodland.

Rainham Marshes

Had a great few hours over at Rainham this afternoon; walking from the center to Aveley Bay and back then a circuit around the reserve.

I also had my first go a digiscoping with a few disastrous results but it was good fun trying.

In the walk to Aveley Bay it was good to see the Rock Pipets back with two seen along the shore line; reaching the bay there were a group of about c50 Black Headed Gull and a group of Redshank c65. A solitary Avocet, Ringed Plover and Curlew with two Great Black Backed Gulls.

Lee's Local Birding - Ringed Plover & Redshank - Aveley Bay
I also had a Female Wheatear land a few feet away and then move swiftly on, a really bad digi scope shot:

Lee's Local Birding

Back in the reserve i headed via the Woodland Zone round managing to catch a Cettis Warbler for the first time in a few months and a single Dunlin over by the far end of the Northern Trail before it bends off to Butts Hide.
Lee's Local Birding

Lee's Local Birding - Dunlin (it is)

As well as a good selection of birds i managed to take this Dragon, dont know its name yet and i saw lots of them so i presume its very common.

Lee's Local Birding
Other birds seen: Common Gull, Reed Bunting (Male Juv), Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Stock Dove, Skylark x2, Greylag & Canada Geese, Little Egret x6, Mute Swan, Carrion Crow x17 on the Target Pools, Lapwing, Pochard, Teal, Litte Grebe x4, Redshank x8 in reserve, Starling, Woodpigen, Herring Gull, Black Headed Gull, Grey Heron, Kestrel x2, Magpie, Starlings, House Sparrows

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Confirmation - Blackcap Audio

So i was looking at my i phone videos and was listenning to a Garden Warbler, which to me sounded very much like the Blackcap that i recorderd earlier this year, so much so that when i re listened to the clip i then had doubts.

Although on the day i had seen lots of Blackcaps this particular bird wasnt seen just recorded. The clip is here.

As such i placed it on twitter last night and Jonathan Lethbridge repsonded saying he thought it was a Blackcap so thanks to him for confirming.

Does anyone disagree?



Saturday, 8 October 2011

Rainham Marshes

A quick circuit this afternoon proved to be very quiet although i got some great views of a Sparrowhawk on the Northern Trail. It also allowed more Juvenile Gull ID as well.

Sparrowhawk, Mallard, Shoveller, Wigeon, Teal, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Collard Dove, House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Mute Swan, Coot, Moorhen, Herring Gull, Black Headed Gull, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Pied Wagtail, Greylag, Canada Goose, Robin, Lapwing. Heard a Cettis Warbler.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Tilbury - Coalhouse Fort

The pager has been going off for a few days about the Sempalmated Sandpiper found by Paul Wood at the weekend and being busy with family commitments i was unable to go. However a quiet period at work today meant i potentially could be there from Brentwood fairly quickly subject to the relevant permissions from the other half.

Permissions granted and shortly after i was on the way; parking in the free fort car park, the directions i received were to head to the right of the fort and follow the pathway to the shore; you'll know you heading in the right direction if your heading to the water tower.

 For me, the bird was on the right of the tower viewable from the path. We were about 50-75 yards past it but it has been seen either side of the tower since being found at the weekend.

The first 10 minutes or so were spent trying to find the bird with a guy who was already on it shouting directions; the wind was strong and buffering the scopes making things even more difficult.

The best direction given for finding a Semipalmated Sandpiper on the Thames mudflats was...."its in a sort of puddle" along with "there its gone out of sight by that rock". Even his wife who was patiently waiting laughed at the puddle direction.

Once on it though you could get some decent views as it dashed this way and that in the mud. One of the guys there kindly advised he would email me some photos that i could use so all being well will put them up here soon.

A lifer for me but also present were two more lifers in the form of Little Stint & Curlew Sandpiper, so as you cam imagine i was really pleased with my short birding trip.

courtesy of wikipedia - Curlew Sandpiper

courtesy of wikipedia - Little Stint

Friday, 30 September 2011

Rainham Marshes

After Tylers Common i headed over to Rainham, upon entering the center Brenda advised that a Spotted Flycatcher had been seen in the Woodland Zone, so i headed over to the cordite. A couple of minutes later the pager goes off for a Spoonbill over at the Butts Hide.

This would be a patch tick so i head over; showing well straight out from the Butts with two Little Egrets i get there just before 1pm and it stays on show until about 1.20pm before it flys back towards the Barretts hide no londer visable from Butts.

courtesy of - not actual bird seen

Tylers Common

Some good increases in my patch list for Tylers Common of late: Blue Tit, Buzzard, Jackdaw, Starling & Meadow Pipit - taking it to 28

courtesy of

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Hanningfield Resevoir

Working in Brentwood, Hanningfield is not to far away so i popped over there this morning as Black terns were reported last night.

No Black Terns for me but i did manage a Ruff at the far end hide over looking the fishing lodge along with getting in some more Gull ID this time on Juvenile Great Black Backed & Lesser Black Backed.

Within the woodland area though i also managed a new life tick - a Treecreeper; a lovely little bird with white underneath and mottled brown top and black down turned bill

courtesy of

Also a year tick in the form of a Coal Tit, thought i had one of them already but apparently not.

courtesy of Ian F

This also now increases my Patch List over at Hanningfield to the dizzy heights of 42:

Blackbird, Blackcap, Black Headed Gull, Blue Tit, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Common Gull, Common Tern, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Great Black Backed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jay, Lapwing, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Magpie, Mallard, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pintail, Pochard, Robin, Ruff, Shoveler, Teal, Treecreeper, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Willow Warbler, Wren

plus a Black Swan.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Barking Bay

So, i headed off to Barking Bay this afternoon; a page had come in for a Wryneck, found by Paul Hawkins that morning i was a few hours later at about 1.30pm.

I havnt been to the Bay before so had no idea what to expect, i hadnt even stuck it google for a look so when i arrived at Choats Road, the access point according to the pager all i could find was heavy-duty-keep-me-out-you-will-surely-impale-your-self-if-you-try-to-climb-it fencing. With no access point (that i could see).

So after a quick look at Google maps courtesy of the iPhone i headed down Choats Road to Renwick Road and turned left toawrds the Thames. I found myslef getting further and further away from what i thought was Barking Bay. Nothing left but to turn round and attack it from the other end.

Back down Choats, right into Hindmans Way all the way to the end right infront of the sea wall, turn right along the sea wall down Thunderer Road to its end.

And the end it was;i had arrived in the middle of some aggregate type looking firm; just about to give up and go, i spotted something, something that looked very out of place. A birder clambering up and over the sea wall, rather clumsily at that. I parked and got out and when he finally managed to sort himself out i asked the way to the Bay.

At that he pointed and said "up and over the wall mate" then "along the beach for a bit, up the bank by the 3 outlet pipes, along the concrete path, around the white building and then your there"

"No easier way i asked?" as i know that Dave Mo and Paul Hawkins are regulars here and i feel pretty confident that is not the way in they use every time, besides that would make it only accessible at low tide.

"No fella, up and over or go home" he sounded a little affended that i would question his whole approach of getting into the bay area so i went with it.

So here are the pictures of my route in.

Lee's Local Birding

Lee's Local Birding

Lee's Local Birding

Lee's Local Birding

Now there is a point to all the directions given, i am hoping that somebody could tell me the correct way of getting there please?

As for the Wryneck, i didnt see it but did manage to get some more Juvenile Gull ID practice. Also found a single Greenshank, that i saw fly, caught the white V along with hearing flight call.