Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Ticks Keep On Coming

On my own this morning i arrived at Hornchurch car park for 6.15am. Taking a walk to Ingrebourne Hill, back to the iron bridge along the lower paddock up to the fields, through the woods and back down the river. All in all three hours which produced quite a few ticks in one way or another.

The walk to the hill via Tit lake produced the same as yesterday although the numbers of Redwing & Fieldfare have gone through the roof night. Yesterdays count around this area was about 25-30 of each, today was easily in excess of 100 each.

The only change to this bit of the walk was a single Sparrowhawk.

The lower paddock and the fields came up with the goods today. The lower paddoock was buzzing with even more Fieldfare & Redwing all over the berries; i cannot imagine they will last that long.  

Yellowhammers, Goldfinch & Greenfinch could be seen in good numbers as well in the same area

Skylark were over, heading towards the hill.

Firstly a finch sized bird headed across the paddock calling as it went, i only got a silhouette and have not heard the call before. It was a sort of Pueww Pueww Pueww. No idea on that an i cannot find it after sifting through the calls on my phone or pc at home.

As well as this another call that i dont recall hearing before but this time i managed to follow it down to provide a Valley Life & 2012 tick - Lesser Redpoll.

courtesy of
Shortly followed by another 2012 patch tick - Goldcrest.

courtesy of wikipedia
Heading up to the fields i spent yet more time ploughing my way through the corvids and finally it paid off; Rook x3 right at the back amongst the Jackdaw & Carrion Crow. Plenty of Stock Dove here as well. Another Patch & 2012 patch tick

courtesy of

Saturday, 27 October 2012

3rd Patch Tick In As Many Weeks

I shook things up today on my usual Saturday morning wander over the Valley with No.1 son; well as much as you can do :)
Parking at Albyns Farm car park at 9.20am i got out of the car and heard the chatter of Fieldfare, spinning round i caught c30 leaving a tall tree and heading off towards Ingrebourne Hill. Great start and it got better, checking my phone it became clear that Fieldfare was a patch tick.
Things were going well, as i put Heath in the pram Bullfinch x2, over follwed by c25 Redwing.
The aim for today was to head up the path towards Ingrebourne Hill and a bit of sky watching; it wasnt to be, i was cold and i was moving, the poor little fella in the pram looked frozen in the icy wind. So we turned and headed for the viewing area hoping the trees would shelter us from the wind.
It did...
Tit lake produced, Gadwall x4, Shoveller x6, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Black Headed Gulls x9, Mallard, Coot & Moorhen along with a couple of Pochard.
The walk to the the viewing area produced all the usual suspects and so did the viewing area, however Wigeon x3 could be seen. Its only the second time for me on these at the Valley with the first seen back on January 29th when i counted 13.
Lapwing x49 headed over from the fields heading towards the houses.
40 species in total so not bad for a quick walk.
Heading back i cut through one of the woods and upon exiting i bumped into fellow local birder Andy, by all accounts we are of a similar level at birding with similar size lists over the valley. Andy had managed great views of a Buzzard being mobbed by Crows along with a few Goldcrest.
Nice meeting you Andy, see you over there again soon no doubt.
Fieldfare takes the 2012 list to 86 and another one closer to the 100 on the Valley life list.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Finally..its in the bag

The Snipe is a bird that i like, colouring, shape, bill...i like it; however they have eluded me over at the Valley and i have searched for quite a few hours this autumn, then just to rub it in reports from Dave & Shaun that they are seeing them....

I tried again yesterday taking a slow walk down the main viewing marsh but still didnt have any luck.

This morning though i went again and decided to view the flooded area along the main viewing marsh again and after about 15 minutes - jackpot, one Snipe.

A VAlley first for me taking the Valley 2012 list to 85 and the Valley life list closer and closer to that 100 mark.

courtesy of shropshire birds

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Back on the patch.....

Finally, after what seems like an eternity i managed a couple of hours over the Valley this morning and very enjoyable it was too. The Hornchurch car park to Tit lake return produced 42 species and excluded some of the more usual such as Goldfinch and House Sparrow.
As im still on the look for a Snipe i took it slow alow the main viewable marsh, water levels have been very high by the looks of it but now small amounts of muddy areas are on show.
Teal camouflaged well were very obundant along with Moorhen & Shoveller. In the farm fields vast numbers of Jackdaw & Crow but no Rook. There was activity every where and it was here where i got a 2012 first and patch first, Yellow Wagtail x2 flew low over my shoulder heading towards the paddocks.
courtesy of Jo Strong
Skylark were flying in groups of 3/4 towards Ingrebourne Hill nunbering around c20 and large numbers of Greylag & Canada Geese headed in the same direction.
Other than that, usual stuff, usual places

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Better than a Baillons....

Its taken three years; i've been taunted by calls and song; at times frustrated that i chose to do a "seen only" list for it.....
Finally this morning while taking out the rubbish i heard it again and this time managed to connect.
The humble Chiffchaff on the Garden List!
Seeing the Baillons prompted emotions of "nice" this morning i was jumping with joy!