Monday, 9 September 2013

Sunday Morning - Redstart

Not one for early mornings I was out side the Valley gates at 5.00am, still pitch black, could have had another half our in bed......
I ventured in at about 5.20am with a hope of an owl silently gliding across the marsh; my expectation dashed by a thick layer of mist that had settled over the flood and scrape so much so that in the dim light i could see barely into it. I edged my way along to the main viewing area where you could hear more than see; two Cettis Warbler battled it out with song, Mallard making them selves known along with Coot and Moorhen. Two Water Rail from different end of the scrapes "sharmed" as a Green Woodpecker "yaffled" behind me; and it was cold, hands firmly in pockets so it was just as well i couldn't see.
Dave Mo tweeted 5.20 am "Hobby Barking Bay" at least i wasn't the only one up and as i got to the iron bridge heading towards the Bottom Paddock i heard my first "COME HERE!" which broke the silence and was the start of normality over the valley; Dog walkers love them or hate them on your patch there here to stay.
I was still in hope of a Spotted Flycatcher or Wryneck over at the Paddock. The sun wasn't up yet and if i hadn't said it before it was cold and it looked like the birds agreed with me; nothing about and it remained that way for some time. Eventually at about 6.30am the sun started to provide a tiny amount of warmth and slowly but surely the lower paddock lit with the morning rays. Birds once hidden now started to flit about, Robin, Lesser Whitethroat and Dunnock mainly. Woodpigeons, Stock Doves and Collard Dove took to the skies flying in different directions.
A bird that kept me guessing for a while had the shape of a Flycatcher and although i saw it again later that morning, it was right at the back. Not much else happened really, i was standing in the shady area down by the fields moaning to myself about how cold i was and started my walk to the sun when two Robins started to chase something about, a quick glance and it was a male Redstart shortly followed by a female on other end of the bush. Both birds eventually being chased.
Not being able to relocate them i decided it was time to head somewhere else when further up another male or the same one was showing well. There's been a Redstart in the paddock now for a bit but i believe its been the female that's been seen so two possibly three birds, i let the others know and some decided to pop over and a selection of photos can be seen on the Ingrebourne Birders blog

Monday, 2 September 2013

Porch Moths

The porch has pulled in a few moths of late:

Sqaure Spot Rustic

Angle Shades

Yellow Shell

 Light Emerald

 Marbled Beauty

 Orange Swift


Sunday, 1 September 2013

Lower Paddock

Oh well yet another Spotted Flycatcher comes and goes at the Valley without yours truly being any where near the area.........
As such i was at the Lower Paddock this morning for about 7ish in the hope that latest of the visitors had decided to hang about for a bit.
The paddock was busy this morning; a lot busier than normal, in fact i havnt seen it so busy since it was covered in Redwing and Fieldfare late last year after the berries. From the gate the first bird was a Lesser Whitethroat along the edging to the back lake, shortly followed by another however this time it was in the bushes running up the side of the path.
As i edged my way along the fencing it was evident that most of the Whitethroat, some 20 odd in total and now 6 Lesser Whitethroat were fresh faced youngsters.
Again fresh faced and looking good were the Chiffchaffs who were silently working the shrubs.
At the far end looking into the farm fields the closest held c135 Lapwing; while during my stay 6 Great Spotted Woodpecker flew calling as they went from Berwick Glade over towards the scrape, dispersed with 4 Green Woodpecker also heading in the same direction.
A high flying Snipe plummeted down into the sodden area between river and back lake and whilst watching this a distant Water Rail could be heard.
As the rail finished the racket of Ring Necked Parakeet slowly got louder and louder as two headed off towards Berwick car park.
A mystery came into view briefly and this then kept me busy for a while as i tried to relocate it but it didnt happen.
On the way back to the car i stopped off at the iron bridge again; there has been a couple of Mute Swan hanging around that area with three signets, one of them was ringed with the same colour ring as 4ANA my Tit Lake bird but so far i havnt been able to read it, i kind of thought it may have been 4AMG the first of these that i found as this was in the exact same area.
It read 4ANW and then to my suprise i looked at the other bird and this was also ringed 4ANV; ive sent the records off to the Mute Swan Ringing Group and await their response however if like the other two i cant imagine these two have done too much apart from Harrow Lodge to Ingrebourne Valley