Thursday, 21 February 2013

Regents Park

I had to take Mrs B into London yesterday, just off Marylebone Road and luckily the Bearded Tits had relocated from Hyde Park to Regents Park. I wasnt to know at this point that they had made their merry way to Amwell, although was aware they had been seen leaving the site. Wasnt hopeful but we only had an hour before the meeting so just being able to be out looking was a great start.
We enetered Regents park at the corner of Park Square East and the Outer Circle, walking the path along the bottom of the Outer Circle to the Boating lake where we proceeded up to the Cafe across the couple of ornamental bridges, then back down and on to Marleybone Road cutting through from York Bridge/Gate.

As we went along the path to the lake, Woodpigeon, Blackbird along with expected Feral Pigeon.

At the lake i was struck by the number of Black Headed Gulls,  i didnt count but it had to easily be over 500 with one yellow colour ringed bird but i coudnt get its number.

As we moved along Grey Heron x6 and all remarkably un bothered by the large numbers of people within 6 foot chucking left over sandwiches at them.

 Two Little Grebes could be seen along the far edge keeping out of the mele on the path side along with numerous Coot & Moorhen.

As the boating lake opens up x3 Herring Gull; 2x adult and 1x 2nd Winter.

A couple of Egyptian Goose headed over as we stood looking at the lake, expecting food.

 The Boathouse was approaching when on the left were two Bar Headed Geese mixed in with the Canada & Greylag, Mrs B said no they are real when i muttered plastic.

The reeds as expected were void of any Bearded Tits so we continued on to the cafe, Tufted Duck, Pochard & Red Crested Pochard x3.

 As we headed over to the two bridges a fair few Mandarin and Wood Duck,

 Finally a Pintail & Shelduck x2


Saturday, 16 February 2013

BTO Garden Watch

Well, cant get out, usual, usual.....So not to get disheartened by my exteme lack of being outdoors, i've signed up for the BTO Garden Watch.

Same rules as the RSPB January watch but done on a weekly basis and you can put as much or as little time in as you wish recording birds and other wildlife seen using your garden.

Maximum count at anyone time to be submitted for a minor anual donation of £17 per annum, although you do get a copy of their Bird Table magazine.

Mornings are going to be best for me so my first count was:

Blackbird x3, 2xm 1xf
Blue Tit
Carron Crow
Collard Dove x2
Great Tit x2
House Sparrow m
Long Tailed Tit x2
Starling x7
Stock Dove x2
Woodpigeon x4

Food out was: Fat Balls, Fat Block, Mixed Seed, Sunflower Hearts, Water, Apple, Bread.. lightly toasted & Peanuts

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Wish id had my 5 iron, good swing speed....

A normal Saturday morning for a change.....woot woot, girls dancing me and Heath on our own.
I've never really touched on the dogs over the Valley, commented yes but not gone into it. However of late im getting a bit fed up with dog owners presuming that i find it, cute, funny, allowable and an aah moment when one of their muts decides to stick his head in the buggy and start licking Heath whilst the owner stands some distance away, smiling as if i'm perfectly happy with the situation. Well im not.
I dont not like dogs but i wouldnt want one. Room 101 started me thinking about last week over at Berwick Glades; me the three kids, when as Room 101 would call, it a Devil dog sprang from no where hurtling a full speed with teeth on show towards the kids with no Chav in sight.
Whats the protocol here? (any comments?)

I know what i did, the dog stopped pretty quickly and turned back just as quick as it arrived. At that moment the obligatory Chav turned into the Glades, hood up, reading his mobile.
So today i was pretty reluctant to go over and face "The Hounds of Ingrebourne Valley" and as such i headed for a wander from Rossi's Ice Cream parlour under the pier to the life boat station and back at Southend.
I still havnt managed to get on the pier, today because of time constraints, so was hoping to pick up the usual Med Gulls, Turnstone etc.
It wasnt a huge list bt i thoroughly enjoyed the walk: Herring Gull, Common Gull, Black Headed Gull (No Med, after sifting through well over 200 BHG), Sanderling, Turnstone, Cormorant & Brent Geese.


Thursday, 7 February 2013

Slavonian Grebe - Littlebrook

I hadnt taken the oppertunity to get over to Dartford and see the performing Slavonian Grebe. Although the photo's on most local blogs have been great i didnt full appreciate how good the views would be. The only Slav i had seen so far was last year at Hanningfield when it was a dot on the watery landscape, ie not great.
So this afternoon i had a trip to Orpington to drop off a mortgage deed for a client just so it could be signed and taken into their solicitors tomorrow for exchange of contracts on their new house, talk about above and beyond. The trip wasnt entirely selfless as although not prepared, no optics, i knew it was still there.
On the return leg, a quick call to birder Harvey who confirmed i wouldnt need any optics, meant the detour.
After parking up the first thing i heard by The Bridge management center at the end of the bus lane was the "trill" of Waxwing x7.
iphone shot

Arriving at the small pond i was supprised to see the bird straight in view about 10ft away, i edged to the left of the lake (from roadside) to an area of the lake surrounded by smallish Hawthorn when it decided to leave the accompanying Coots behind and head my way. Thinking it may head in the inlet i pushed my way through before the bird saw and sat and waited.
Shorlty after it was about 3ft in front of me, stupidly i hadnt got my iphone out so couldnt photo graph it. It was so close that any move for the phone would have sent it to the other end. It then went under - phone out.
It was still close when it surficed but not as close. The video below was taken and looks pretty good on the iphone, shame it looses it on here.

Also as it moved away a few pictures

Monday, 4 February 2013

Outdoors Calling

Another weekend gone in the blink of an eye and another weekend where i couldnt get any birding in; well not strictly true.
For about 40 minutes i managed a slow slow slow short walk around one set of small woods over at the Berwick Glades. Why so slow?
Firstly No1 son was on foot and struggled climbing his way through the grass....
Secondly both daughters came and they are much like their mum; as such walking in the cold, damp, pretty muddy field was going to be hard work and involve moaning (sorry Mrs B but you know it's true)
He was ok, thoroughly enjoying himself however they, as expected, didnt stop moaning, actually they did for two brief moments.
The first of these moments was when they decided that collecting longer bits of grass, leaves and strange shapped peices of wood would help them create more mess at home when immersing themselves in arts and crafts whilst covering themselves in mud in the process.
The second happened after one of them decided she would forget what barbed wire is; run off to the top paddock to see the horses; climb onto the lower run and hook hers arms over the top run; now realising she was stuck meant she had to stop moaning.

Also at this moment No1 son decided it was the perfect time to jump into a puddle which just so happened to be a small run off, so he ended up knees deep and laughing his little head off proceeded to SPLASH SPLASH SPLASH.
So after unhooking one daughter, manning the lifeboats for No 1 son i turned to now find the other daughter..........
you guessed it, looking at a small group of Lesser Redpoll on the trees in front of her "Daddy what are those birds called?"
Didnt see much else but maybe just maybe the outdoors is calling one of them!