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.
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