Monday, 23 November 2015

Ferruginous Duck - Dagenham Chase

With a low sun and the Ferruginous Duck always on the move i seemed to be staring into the sun everywhere it went.

The Scaup was still there along with a look a like Tuftie.

There has been a lot of discussion about this bird; most seem to be in agreement that its a Fudge with a lower peak due to moult.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Little Auk - Thames, Grays

So after heading back from Aveley Bay freezing Saturday afternoon ( 2x Short Eared Owl, Marsh Harrier, Snipe) i made decision to head back Sunday morning for a wander along the Rainham part of the Thames. Later that evening a text comes in from DDL advising he was going to Grays to see if he could score a London Tick by way of a Little Auk.

Along with most i hadn't failed to notice the volume of them along the east coast from Norfolk to Kent so decided that as it would be a Life tick i would tag along.

Arriving at The Wharf Pub just inside the London area still at 7am, it was -2 degrees. We scanned the area time and time again; clouds of Woodpigeon, flocks of Filedfare and streams of Starlings were in the skies. The usual gulls plus a single Yellow Legged Gull.

Shortly Dave says "what's that in line with the big pylon" and shortly after we were both on a Little Auk.

We stayed for another hour or so in hope of more, i was hoping for a Razorbill and although later found one had got as far as Mucking it didn't reach us.

Auk record photos courtesy of David Darrell-Lambert

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Crag Martin - Chesterfield

I've been wanting another longer distance twitch for a while now and it couldn't have been better with a mega Craig Crag Martin in Chesterfield. So all week its been flitting around the Crooked Spire in the town center and disappearing time after time. Roosting where; nobody new. That was until yesterday when Chesterfield played Oldham at home and a birders brother picked it up in the stands whilst watching the game.

So myself and Martin headed up making our decision that if it hadn't been seen at the spire by the time we got there we would head for the stadium. The pager highlights it at 7.53am flying around inside the ground and we were approx half hour out.

As we arrive Martin picks out a small group of birders pointing, after an initial flap as to where to park we pretty much dumped it and legged it across the street. BOOM, from car to bird in 3 seconds. Blood pressure back to normal we spent the next hour here as the bird effortlessly flew in, around and over the stands. A rainbow highlighting its gold at its end.

It relocated whilst we got involved with beckie breckie to the spire.

Martin getting hold of beckie

It would have be rude not to see the spire after coming all this way so we headed into town, the numbers here grew and grew. I estimate about 100-150 in quite  small area. However the views were easy, we watched as it flew its way around the spire time after time. It was a joy to watch and a twitch that was seriously worth the effort.

The Spire is impressive in itself, if it was in Havering it would have scaffolding covering most of it waiting for building inspectors.

A seriously good morning and a superb little market town.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Back to Wells

I have spent the last 5 days up in Wells with all the family as it was half term; this allowed me to get out on the odd morning in the local areas and it didn't turn out that bad for an hour or so's birding here and there. Highlights being:


Still lots of Goldcrests everywhere you look. My first Fieldfares of the autumn with a lot of birds arriving over night (Wednesday/Thursday) and taking their usual spots in and around the scrub south of The Dell, south of the main track. Knot out on the mud in the harbour entrance and a huge swirling mass of Golden Plover opposite the harbour masters office for all to see in town.


An early start arriving just as it got light, i headed down the main track towards Burnham managing to find a Firecrest amongst the throng of Goldcrests. I was secretly hoping to find a Yellow Brow or Pallas's Warbler that had held on may be from a couple of weeks ago.....wasn't to be. However some great views of Barn Owl in the field just behind the lake before Washington Hide. Onto the Jordon Tower hide where the Great White Egret gave itself up pretty quickly.


Plenty of Stone Chat, Marsh Harrier x3, Ruff, Dunlin, Black Tailed Godwit all from the central hides. Down on the beech i managed to catch up with the Black Brant that was holding up with the other Brent Geese.