Saturday, 30 November 2013

1 hour

I got to Rainham for 3.30pm today and seeing as I haven't been out for some time I felt a little guilty that the hour I had wasn't spent over the Valley.

It was an alright hour...

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Isle of Sheppey

Today I was invited to join the London Bird Club on a field trip to Sheppey, my first trip to Sheppey and my first LBC field trip or any field trip with a club.
Organised by Peter Lambert and his son David Darrell-Lambert.
West Thurrock
I joined David first though this morning to settle a score with West Thurrock Marshes, on the occasions I have been over in search of Jack Snipe they haven't yielded but this morning was different; first a couple of Snipe took flight over the wall and finally a Jack Snipe. A life tick.
Yellow Legged Gull x2 patrolled the shore line, Fieldfare called from over the wall.
On the mud a large group of Dunlin moved around the waters edge some way off. Dave found within this group a Stint sp but it was to far out to call it any further. Black Tailed Godwit, Curlew, Rock Pipit & Avocet all added to the cast.
The LBC met at Sittingbourne station and we first headed to Shellness. Numerous Little Egret & Curlew on the marshes. A single Marsh Harrier flew in the distance whilst a large group of waders comprising of Knot, Black Tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Oystercatcher joined a little later by Avocet (c3500 total group). A couple of Ringed Plover in the mix edges.
About 50 Wigeon were out on the water along with a single Grey Seal.  Turnstone and Sanderling were amongst the Groins. Rock Pipit also.
It was here whilst watching the Seal that 5 birds took flight straight in front and proceeded towards and up above my head, I new I hadn't seen these before and as I called out asking what they were Peter and Dave both called Snow Bunting.....another life tick.
On the way to Capel Fleet, a bit of gull feeding pulled in Med Gull
Capel Fleet
Buzzard x3, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel x2 & Marsh Harriers x5/6 were the raptors on view along with Green Sandpiper.
Harty Ferry Inn
More raptors and for a brief moment a Cattle Egret but before I could see turned back into a Little Egret, 26 Common Seal sprawled out on the mud.
Elmley NNR
No longer an RSPB it has been a place that I have only heard good things about and it didn't disappoint, before even getting the farm a superb Merlin on a gate post right in front of us, it took flight as we got nearer but soon settled to our left.
Certainly a place I'll be going to again; Barn Owls in boxes, Barn Owls in flight, Barn Owls in flight with prey; Short Eared Owls x2, Kestrel, Peregrine, Hare, Stonechat, pinging Beardies, Pintail, Black Tailed Godwit, Snipe, Avocet, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveller, bundles of Curlew.
All in all a great day, lovely bunch of people of all age groups and personality with shed loads of birds.
Dave, cheers for the invite today - really appreciate it.
Other birds: Blackbird, Greenfinch, Corn Bunting (I missed this one), Blue Tit, Mallard, Great Black Backed Gull, Common Gull, Linnet, Pied Wagtail, Robin, Dunnock, Red Legged Partridge, Meadow Pipit, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Coot, Moorhen, House Sparrow, Reed Bunting plus more 60 sp in total.