Saturday, 22 September 2012

Not Much

Well as you can gather i havnt been out doing much birding of late, in fact much of anything; work, home decoration and general family stuff taking precedent.
I have managed no more than 3 hours over the patch throughout September and even on those visits did not find too much; Green Sandpiper probably the most exciting.
Needing a new bird for the patch and year list i spent most of those hours looking for Snipe and Kingfisher around the viewing area and checking out every black Corvid that flew over in hope of a Rook.
A Snipe was seen though on the day previous to one of my visits.
Highlight of the month would be the Red Kite seen low over the fields at Little Haddam in Hertfordshire. Apparently its become a bit of a local attraction appearing in the local press.
Lets hope October allows more time out!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Baillons Crake takes Rainham List 2012 to 99

A first for me as this was the earliest i had been birding before, it was still dark and about 5.30am. After reaching the hide, front row seats had already gone and the first standing row was building. I took my place next to Tony who new the approximate area the bird had been seen the day before.
It wasnt long before a bird was seen in the channel just in front of Butts Hide; finally connecting with it for a bit before it vanished and wasnt seen again for some time. Not the best of views but they all count.
That takes the Rainham 2012 list to 99.
Also seen; a group of c25 Little Egret flew in, Water Rail x2, Little Grebe
On the way back from the hide i took brief stops at the jetties off the Northern Boardwalk: Snipe x4, Greenshank x6, Green Sandpiper, Redshank. A Hobby flew low over the reed edge.
Thanks to Howard and the volunteers who openned up early again; the reserve looked amazing that early as the sun came up slowly revealing the floating mist.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

The Morning After

Back to school means that Saturday mornings dance classes for the girls also has a new term and as such i was over Ingrebourne for 9.15 with No1 son in tow and for the second time after being out the night before with the local birders i was hanging.
The sun was already warm, not what i wanted, so after a decision i stuck to the main marsh and viewing areas all morning; until 12; heading from shady tree to shady tree.
There were very few people around and it was a really beautuful morning.
A showy Cettis Warbler, always good to see one of these rather than just hear, another Ring Necked Parakeet went noisily over.
30 Species in all but no Baillons Crake.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Top Paddock at the Valley

As i was passing the Valley this morning, i took a quick stop to wander along the path to the bridge leading to farm fields.

Whinchat on the posts between the Top Paddock and the next field.

Pheasant, Green Woodpecker, Mixed Tits, Dunnock, Canada Goose x15, Pied Wagtail, Chiffchaff, Woodpigeon.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Rainham - Any ideas on Wader? not a lot to go on.

A walk with the kids along the wall to Aveley Bay and back at high tide didnt provide to much however the kids got to see their first Wheatear that was on the concrete river edge about half way between the reserve center and the bay.
Also an unidentifiable (for me) small wader flying up river; all i got on it was a small white wing bar, feet protruding from tail feathers, white rump with a darker center line/area seperating it in half and no white area protruding up its back. Also its flight action seemed unsmooth.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Valley Home Valley Home

After dropping family off at Stansted i was back for 6am and over at the Hornchurch car park. I took a stroll down to the viewing area and up to the top paddock through the fields and back along the river.
The number of wildfowl from the viewing area was the most i have seen there; C20 Canada Geese, C15 Shoveller, easily C30 Mallard, Moorhens and Coots in good numbers; it was then i thought i had a Valley Year Tick with x3 Teal (wasnt until i got home that it turned out i had seen them in January). In addition there were Grey Heron & C15 Black Headed Gull.
The sky was also busy with small groups of the same flying towards the Berwick Reservoir which is where most of the birds on the lake eventually headed.
There was also a lot more Woodpigeon than last time i got there for 6.
Up at the Top Paddock a single Whinchat eventually showed on the posts seperating paddock and field after the farmer had moved on with his tractor a bit.
I also counted C95 Lapwing in the field which again seemed higher than i have seen before here.
Yellowhammer, WillowWarbler, Whitethroat, Dunnock, Chiffchaff, Greenfinch & Goldfinch all by the irn bridge before entering the fields.
Moving along the fields footpath a Kestrel headed over towards the viewing area and a little further on the Crows were giving a Sparrowhawk a complete battering; give it its due though, it took it well and then moved on reluctantly.
So just as i walked in the door at home.......a text: Redstart, Lower Paddock. Now thats just sods law, i normally spend a fair bit of time on the paddock but today i skipped it. To top it off it would have been a life bird as well.
Back i go, this time with all three kids in tow. Bumping into Dave & Russ who both had seen the bird. I got to the correct area and sure enough could hear it calling but after 20 minutes i couldnt find it. The others had returned as well and for all three of us it didnt show again. I wanted to hang around for longer but the kids wanted to get going.
One Redstart not going on the life list.