Saturday, 5 January 2013

and so it begins: Valley 2013

I finally managed a trip over the patch this morning to get things started for 2013. It was going to be hard for me to catch DMo who as most will know bagged 60 species earlier this week.
The most i have had in one day over there being 53 on two occaisions: June & July last year.
I arrived at 7.45am with it still being dark, i wanted as much time as i could get. I took a wonder down to the double gates and back, although i could hear Robin, Blackbird, Great & Blue Tit i couldnt see anything.
As the light started to improve i started my assult on the year list, slowly working my along the flood area; i so wanted a Snipe today, conditions were good, reports had been in and last year Snipe caused me all sorts of bother. The usual Moorhen wondered about along the river and flood, i could hear Cettis Warbler x2 and Canada Geese over by the viewing area.
A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew across the flood, the first of these, x6 for the day in all.
With no snipe on the flood that i could see i moved on to the first viewing area.....Snipe x1 and now very pleased. Teal "plipped" away from most areas.
I cut back along the paths through the grass area away from the marsh now heading for Tit Lake. I heard a rather frantic sounding Goldcrest and sure enough there were two having it out; the first time i have ever seen two Goldcrests at once. I watched for a while as they carried on before heading further into the woods, still arguing as they went. Obviously a Pair?
Long Tailed Tits x9 before heading through the path before the Tit Lake bend cutting off Garden Warbler corner. Song Thrush x3 singing which by the end of the morning totalled 7.
Tit Lake held the usual, Canada & Greylag Geese, Tufted Duck, Coot, Black Headed Gull & Mallard.
My new nemisis over the Valley is now Siskin, so i headed down to the small pond by the parks compound for these and Waxwing.
No luck on either count but the small pond had a pair of Reed Bunting and they didnt care that a dog dived right in.
I decided to head up the hill but on the way i cut through the field as its waterlogged and grassy; probably delusional but i thought a Jack Snipe may be hidden away.
The hill ticked off Pheasant and Sparrowhawk.
Time for Berwick via the Iron Bridge, stopping here looking for Redpoll i came across a Little Egret and a Cettis Warbler in full view.

I viewed the lake via the Lower Paddock for Little Grebe, never failed yet, failed...but i did find a lone male Shoveller and lone male Gadwall
Slip sliding my way up the bike track to Abbey Wood accomplished nothing other than and near broken ankle so i moved onto the fishery, a fly by Bittern? no just a showy showy Mute Swan and Great Crested Grebe.

Surprisingly i had some big wholes in the list but was hopeful that the Glades would tick these; only two got marked off - Fieldfare & Kestrel
Stock Doves a plenty in the ploughed field next to the top paddock but where were the Buzzards? aah the next field, here the lighter of the two recently sighted Buzzards was perched at the back.
Jackdaw c50 in the field just before entering the woods and nothing else.

Did i have a good morning? I ticked 51 so not quite my best but i was really pleased. Snipe and Buzzard were good for me to get early and i still had a few wholes in that list: No Redwing, House Sparrow, Littel Grebe, Wigeon, Common Gull, Bullfinch, Water Rail

Hopefully this year i can keep the gap a little smaller between me and the rest of the Ingrebourne Birders
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