Sunday, 1 July 2012

Ingrebourne Valley - Curlew

I was fortunate to be given a pass for the morning and headed over the valley arriving at 6.30am. It was relatively clear with a small breeze although a little chilly. I parked in the Hornchurch car park and headed firstly along to the viewing area checking the small area behind the play area as i went.

Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Cettis Warbler, Song Thrush, Greenfinch, Blackbird along with a couple of flyover Common Gull before reaching the main viewing point.

Checking the smaller point first nothing of note other than a couple of Shoveller, it did seem very quiet down there. The main view confirmed it; not much at all.

Heading on towards Tit lake and as i approached the junction for the iron bridge a Lesser Whitethroat, the same spot as yesterdays bird; i couldnt see it so headed on. Cormorant x2 flew along side me and banking off towards the houses.

Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers seemed in abundance around the areas as you come down the path off the steep hill.

Wrens, Dunnock and a group of young mixed tits: Great, Blue & Long Tailed. No Coal Tit still but i now understand they are a local rarity along with Nuthatch.

Blackcap as you approach the bends before Tit lake along with a potential Garden Warbler (excluded from my count as i couldnt tell and didnt see it). However a Song Thrush popped up at this point right in front of me; always good to see close up.

Another Lesser Whitethroat, and after a while i gave up looking for Bullfinch at my usual Bullfinch spot.

Turning out of the bends approaching Tit lake i took a look left towards the heronry and got a great supprise, there coming over the trees were Curlew x2. They proceeded pretty much over tit lake banked left and headed towards Ingrebourne Hill no doubt heading Thames bound. A patch first for me and from what i have been told after a great record for the Valley.

courtesy of

Ingrebourne Hill didnt produce too much, a lot of Skylark and singing well.

After a couple of diversions around the hill i headed back down to the iron bridge and caught sight of a Green Sandpiper looking back to the viewing area before viewing the water and reeds from the Lower Paddock; Little Grebe and my now usual spot for seeing close up Reed Warblers failed on me today. However i got a cracking view of a Willow Warbler and for some time as it made its way round a very near tree, easily my best to date.

Nothing along the cut through to Abbey Wood; however a single Cuckoo on one of the dead trees over the far side.

Over at the top paddock, numerous Yellowhammer, Linnet, Skylark and more Willow Warbler in the Berwick Glades just there.

I then headed through the farmers fields to the river and back to the car, the only thing of note there was my one and only Swallow of the few hours out.

53 species in all, a patch first along with being another to add to my valley year list now standing at 81

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