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