Monday, 22 April 2013

Orange 4ANA

The Mute Swan mentioned in the previous post was again rung at Harrow Lodge Park on the same day as 4AMG.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Patch Ticking 2013

I have been really enjoying the patch of late and although the migrants have started arriving this new found enthusiasm started before they did, i think it was the warmer of the weather; long may it continue.
Im doing well this year so far, i'm well ahead of where i was this time last year. 2012 finished on 92 and im already on 83 but i have seen a lot of the usual bits a lot earlier in the year than last year...i think i'm improving.
So today i arrived at the Hornchurch Country Park car park at 6.30am, i was after three birds today: Red Legged Partridge, Sedge Warbler & Reed Warbler.
Heading along the flood area towards the scrape the usual Moorhen & Coot. A few Teal dotted about along with the odd Grey Heron.
Whitethroat, Willow Warbler & Chiffchaff numbers seem to continue to increase.
Just as i was approaching the small viewing area to the scrape a Ring Necked Parakeet flew over the scrape and head and off towards the hospital - Patch 2013 Tick
At the small viewing area showing down to the reeds i could just make out a Reed Warbler, then he started up, no mistake. Patch Tick 2013
As i headed up the hill, now on my way to Tit Lake, a Lesser Whitethroat went off and headed back down the hill. I like these so i headed back trying to locate it, eventually catching it in the trees just before the iron bridge. Great! - Patch Tick 2013
used under the creative commons license - original can be found
So heading back up the hill again and another Lesser Whithroat goes off, this one decided to stay in the area around the cut tree trunk and show very well.
Tit Lake heald the usual along with a Mute Swan with a different number to the usual one, this one being Red 4ANA, so i await its travel history. If its anything like 4AMG its probably just gone from Harrow Lodge to Ingrebourne Valley in the last three months.
Ingrebounre Hill next and no sign of any Wheatears but i did catch great views of a Sedge Warbler and the Cuckoo that i had been able to hear since entering this area came into view but no sign of anything else around this area.
I was heading back, now looking towards the fields for Red Legged Partridge. The mistake here being i checked the old potatoe field and then made my way off down the farm trail (not checking the Top Paddock), a Linnet flock off 30 odd birds and a Bullfinch (male) at the end where the trail re joins the woods.
Nothing much else, House Martin numbers seem to be building around the hospital and a couple of Swallow.
Finally approaching the car park and a noisy Water Rail to my left.

The mistake re the Top Paddock: a call 10 minutes after leaving - Red Legged Partridge, Top Paddock. - Oh Well Great Morning any way

Monday, 15 April 2013

Great Day On The Patch

A new bird for me today and one ive missed on a couple of occaisions over the Valley last year, Common Redstart; the 200 mark edges closer.

Other birds Blackcap, Yellowhammer, Wheatear all providing 2013 ticks for Ingrebourne

Orange 4AMG again

The Mute Swan ringed over at Harrow Lodge was on the Scrape again over the weekend.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Anything other than a Tuftie?

I took this in Hyde Park over the weekend, at first i thought it was a Tufted Duck, any thoughts?

Monday, 8 April 2013

Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens

Amazing! Totally was not expecting what i got. A great day for two reasons. One of my Daughters was performing in Joseph at Her Majesties Theatre, in the West End. A sold out performance and it was a perfect ending to a great day.
She was brilliant! and i am obviously going to say she was the best on the stage but believe me she was!
Dropping her off at Stage Door at 10.30am, i headed off down Piccadilly for Hyde Park. The sun was out and the park as you would excpect was bang full of tourists and locals fully enjoying this Royal Park.
Borris Bikes in use, Skateboarders showing off, inline Roller Blading lessons taking place and all along the walk way round the edge of the Serpentine. The coffee kiosks were buzzing, the lake restauarnt was rammed and the Japs had more DSLR's than needed per family.
Song Thrush i thought as i saw it hop around under the trees away from the lake, i headed over, first suprise of the day, Redwing (initial count about 20 but as i left a recount hit 28). The expected Ring Necked Parakeet seemed to be everyhwere and Egyptian Geese (c40) in fine form undertaking low fly pasts without a care for anyone in there way.
On the lake Mandarin Duck (pair) Red Crested Pochard (male). Moving under the bridge into Kensington Gardens, Shoveler (pair) and my second suprise Stock Dove x3.
I cut round the lake and headed up the other side as i got to Peter Pan i looked, a Treecreeper made its way up a trunk (now that was the biggest suprise of the day and not just one 3 in total).
It was here i met Des McKensie, and after a brief chat we were off looking for the Owls, both Little & Tawney. He showed me the tree for the Little Owl which was presently out if sight so we moved onto the Tawney Nest. I've never seen Tawney Owl before (just heard) up in the tree one adult and one fluff ball chick in the tree next to the adult.
Des wanted to go see if the Wheatear was over the other side of the park so joining him i picked it up on the grass repair works, (amended) parade grounds, a nice looking bird and day 5 for it.
I parted ways with Des and headed back to the Little Owl tree for a stake out; didnt have to as one had its head sticking out.
43 Species in total: Black Headed Gull, Blue Tit, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Chiffchaff, Coot, Dunnock, Egyptian Goose, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jay, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Little Owl, Long Tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Mandarin Duck, Moorhen, Nuthatch, Pied Wagtail, Pochard, Red Crested Pochard, Redwing, Feral Pigeon, Shoveler, Starling, Stock Dove, Tawny Owl, Treecreeper, Tufted Duck, Wheatear, Woodpigeon, Wren


Saturday, 6 April 2013

A Ticking Sort Of day

I've had a good day; a day that makes you smile and not only that the sun came out! So why have i had a good day?
Well it all started with a visit this morning over the Valley, my nemesis of late being the Siskin. Since my garden has been full of them lately it has given my time to brush up on the songs and calls and while at at work the other day, i picked one up from its chatter. Time to put it to the test over the Valley. I decided to head for the Albyns Farm car park and the small lake by the works compound; some Alders there that may help the cause.
Upon arrival there was nothing, a couple of Goldfinch so i took a wander onto and around the Ingrebourne Hill nothing much around here today apart from the Male Shelduck coming into land and plenty of Crow & Skylark.
Tit Lake held the usual, so as it was a quick visit i headed back. Im glad i did. The sound of Siskin around the lake, not just one bird maybe for or five, i picked up a male on the Alder. Tick One - An Ingrebourne Valley Lifer
Back at home somehow i had managed to blag myself a trip to Rainham and whilst getting ready the phone went with Dave McGough leaving a message about a pair of Garganey on the main scrape, Rainham was going to have to wait. Tick Two - An Ingrebourne Valley Lifer

I then headed to Rainham, bumping into Bradders on the wall he mentioned Ruff on the Target Pools. Why Not...a took a brisk walk round to the viewing area neglecting to go into the hide. It paid dividends Ruff x2 Tick Three - A 2013 Year Tick.
Finally at home again and just sitting down for dinner when, Tweets come in re a rather oily Red Throated Diver in Aveley Bay. Tick Four - An out and out Lifer. Ok, it looked a bit manky but it was alive, diving and moving about quite well but was definately covered in an oily glupe and spent a lot of time on the mud.
On the way home the final tick of the day, Golden Plover Tick Five - An Ingrebourne Valley Lifer. C75 birds in the ploughed field, Valley Side just before the Optimist Pub.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Red Crested Pochard - Ingrebourne Valley

Thanks to Dave McGough i managed to connect with the three Red Crested Pochard on the Berwick Reservoir this evenning, bumping into Shaun also there for the same reason. The birds found by Pete Breeze & Les Harrison were (when i arrived) on the far side nearer the fishing hut.
After a chat with Shaun we had a quick wander down to the paddock, after he left i decided to try to digiscope some shots only to find they had moved to my side of the reservoir but the far end behind some trees obscuring the view.



Shelduck at The Valley takes me to 100

So after the news of a male Shelduck at the Valley, i rushed went on over; 2 days it took me to get there from one side of Hornchurch to other but i am glad i did.
At 6.30pm last night my Valley List total hit three figures, 100.
However not just a male, a pair that then flew high off the scrape at about 7pm heading towards Tit Lake.