Monday, 7 November 2016

Cliff Swallow - Minsmere

Well no photos but i did manage to get to Minsmere for the Cliff Swallow's one and only showing of Sunday as it departed. It was however a highly amusing morning and included a rather nice Full English as celebration. Cheers Monkey & Hawky. #nomcd's

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Stonechat - Bonnetts Wood

I managed to take the camera out for an hour or so this afternoon in search of Whinchats, never found one or much of anything apart from this Stonechat.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Purple Swamphen - Alkborough Flats

I was told the other day that the best view of Scunthorpe was the one in your rear view mirror as you left. Not so, at least the section i saw of it today as we skirted its edges heading for Alkborough Flats.

The usual New builds; yes our National Home Builders all think we want to live in the same one of three styled house. And Whitton itself was a beautiful little village.

I picked Monkey up at 5.15am on Saturday morning and we were in Mcdonalds a couple of hours later for the obligatory twitch sausage and egg.

My initial view of Alkborough flats were that they were indeed flat and as such aptly named.

We parked up in the car park as advised by RBA and made our way down the hill to the flats themselves only to find that you couldn't see the Swamphen from down here. It took a local, who to fair to him must have made this trip a lot helping hapless twitchers out, to escort us back up hill along a path down a small road to the livery gates where we could view the bird if it showed. Distantly though.

It turns out that the car park was about two minutes walk from here, if only we had known.......

Oh wait, we did know know!! Jonny Holiday had told us where to go prior to getting here and in his own words - Inept.....

So for any who read this: park in the car park as per RBA. Walk straight toward the tree line. Then turn left (Do not head down to the right). Walk the tree line (with it to your right, field to left). After a while the tree line will clear and you will see a road, a path down to the road has been made by birders (not a true path). Take it. Head back on yourself along the road to end and livery gates.

The livery owner greeted all at his gate, he was quite an amusing chap. Advising don't go on his land, don't touch his fence, it was electric and don't look with scopes through his windows at his wife getting changed as it really wouldn't be worth it.

Anyway the sun was out, it was warm, we had our view point and shortly after the Purple Swamphen made an appearance. For the next hour or so it made regular appearances and we had decent views though distant but there would be getting no closer unless if flew to one of the pools with a hide. It didn't and its still being viewed from the same pool today.

After hearing of some Ruddy Shelduck from Tower hide we decided to explore Alkborough Flats.  6x Spoonbill, 2x Spotted Redshank, 4x Ruddy Shelduck, numerous Black Tailed Godwit, Redshank, Barnacle, Canada, Greylag Geese.

The weather had now turned, the rain started to fall heavily and we made our way back to the car; we stopped again at the livery for a bit but then decided enough was enough and made our way home......via McDonalds

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Red-Footed Falcon

Great Views at Vange of the Red Footed Falcon last week along with Bearded Tits.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Rainham SEO

I appreciate there has been some absolute stunning photos of the SEO's at Rainham but i haven't even tried to take any yet, especially when i'm using a bridge camera that doesn't really like moving targets. In fact i never usually even bother on birds in flight. I had a bash.....

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Rainham Smooth Newt

Found this Smooth Newt wandering around the pathways of Rainham where the Dartfords have been locating today; Raven from Aveley Bay heading towards barges and Jack Snipe and Water Pipit from Butts Hide.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Stock Dove

This is a Stock Dove, this is in my garden; this is not a Collard Dove. I thank you....

Just for Dick :)

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Garden Ringing

So with Hawky obtaining his C permit he needed a place to start, so i offered up the garden. For the last two Sunday mornings we've put nets up. Last Sunday was a bit to windy, the net was moving a lot but will still managed to trap and process 5 birds.

Today was better so the main net a 60ft 3 panel was placed along with this time a smaller 20ft 3 panel. The main net travels from the grass nearest the house and heads straight towards the back. It finishes with about a third of the garden remaining. The last net we placed across a small fly way to the back left on the diagonal.

This morning was a lot better, we had some escapes this morning but they were soon getting caught. Another 5 birds processed this morning. We even had our first re-trap although its not counted. The Blue Tit was released and about an hour and half latter was back in the net.

I must admit to thoroughly enjoying it and can easily see myself training but not just yet life's too busy. Hawky doing the bird handling for obvious reasons.

Sunday 21st

Great Tit x2
House Sparrow

Sunday 28th

Blue Tit
Great Tit
House Sparrow

Wednesday, 10 February 2016


This RN Keet spent some time in the garden this morning. Both through glass.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Ringing Mute Swans

I spent some time with Mike Reed on Sunday morning whilst he visited Harrow Lodge Park. Another 6 birds processed within the hour.

It was good to see them up close, although you get a pretty close view with a loaf of bread over there regardless.

I took a count on his behalf of the two lakes; 77 Adult birds, 44 sub adult.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Orthosia cerasi

Common Quaker #73.244 (B&F 2187)

A new season and its always great to see the moths when their fresh; this one has particularly light/bright  oval and kidney marks along with marks down by the outermost cross line to the outer edge.

Three Common Quaker trapped last night but over the course of the next few weeks numbers will increase as this moth is second on the numbers scale each year for the garden.

Common Quaker 06/02/2016

Friday, 5 February 2016

Acleris furugana/notana agg.

(B&F 1044x)

Two species that really requires dissection and examination of the genitalia are Acleris ferrugana and Acleris notanaAs such this has been recorded as an aggregate. I am however favouring A.ferugana as this likes an Oak food source, A.notana prefers Birch. No Birch in sight of the garden trapping area however a 100 year old + Oak resides next door.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Winter Mothing

Winter Mothing is more relaxed than peak season; instead of having to sift your way through up to 150 moths pre work (and that's low, some of the country boys hit up to a 1000) you get one here and there. 2016 is off to a good start.

January - Dotted Border
February  - Hebrew Character & Pale Brindled Beauty

The Pale Brindled Beauty is a new record for the garden as well.

Pale Brindled Beauty

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Pochard, Harrow Lodge

Only one male and this female Pochard over Harrow Lodge this morning. Egyptian Geese up to 6. Scanned the numerous Black Headed Gulls for Meds; well if Wanstead and Mayesbrook can why cant Harrow ringed Mute Swan 4BXG and ive sent for records.

43 species in my little visits for the last 3 Sunday mornings. Just under 3 hours wandering.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Scaup, Dagenham Chase

I took a stop at DC on my way to a clients at lunch time for the Scaup and was faced with a couple of Scaup-faced-Tufties as well. After finding the Scaup, it was head down for about 30 minutes. Just as Dick arrived it became active. A lovely sunny afternoon if not a little chilly,

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck


Sunday, 10 January 2016

Harrow Lodge Park

I had dropped my daughter at her tutor just up the road from Harrow Lodge, so with about 45 minutes to spare i headed from the main car park at Harrow Lodge, along the river and to the end of the main two lakes.

35 species in all including Grey Wagtail x2 and Kingfisher. In addition 10 Mute Swan rings sent off. All probably been no where but Harrow Lodge but you never know.

Lots of Greylag and Canada Geese. In excess of 100 Tufted Duck, a few Cormorant and a solitary Pochard.

Mute Swan Rings

Some more Mute Swan rings that i am waiting the information on; most will be Harrow Lodge but we shall see: