Me and Paul have been, over lock down walking our local pond in the middle of a housing estate. Its been good fun, two minute walk from either one of us and now set up as a Hot Spot on eBird. We've had some twitches and some fly overs. Northern Shoveller saw me running over one morning, and a fly over Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. It truly is the no.1 birding location in the area. This has been there for probably three days and we've not paid it any attention. However today it caught Pauls eye. Wow, stunning bird. Hybrid Baikal x Eurasian Teal. Its even been twitched now, 4 people over there specifically for it this afternoon. Invaders to our local covid patch.
After what seems like an eternity of isolation i managed to pop over to the back end of the Valley during the week to look over the res. Usual suspects however i did manage to year tick the Wigeon for the all important #69. A new, i really dont want to see any humans route, sees me cutting through the trees to get to the new hill at the far end and then allows me to wander in relative peace. The lazey arsed dog walkers dont tend venture this far away from the center, a few do but in the main its dog free compared to the Hornchurch side. This also means that you get less people all together - result. I walked down to the Paddock, hoping for Yellowhammer but this didnt happend and as i tunred to head back, thick black smoke assended into the sky. Holly shit, my car was on fire . No i mean it. The only thing near the smoke signals bellowing into the sky was my motor. I panicked, then laughed, i wanted a new car anyway. I headed back, i started to run, then back to a casual walk, then a fa
We are now as a family in full isolation for a total period of 15 days and not allowed out anywhere. Not becuase we have Covid or are suspected of having but because my wife has to have an operation. She had Covid test earlier this week and we were told to all stay in until the operation date and then again for 10 days after. All makes sense and will happily comply. My gardens pretty cool as Sub urbans gardens go. Birds that have actually used the garden have included Waxwing and Mallard . Goldcrest is almost daily as is Coal Tit . Overs have included some suprises, Whimbrel , last year, was a biggie. Shelduck another a few years back.
Yet again i hit the alarm and turned it off, another weekend gone by where the thought of going really early to the Valley for Tawny Owl was not that appealing. As the mornings start getting lighter earlier this is going to be troublesome unless i wait until later in the year or go late one evenning. I started up by the reservoir, checking this in almost darkness, it was pretty empty. A couple of Great Crested Grebes, Great Cormorant, Coot & Mute Swan. I cut through the road side trees, onto the new hill and made my way round the bend to the path near Bonnets Wood. There was more Skylark activity today, more than i have seen this year so far. Meadow Pipit flitted off as i walked. As i approached Berwick Glades a female Stonechat appeared on the fence line shorltly followed by a male, both birds already heading in the same direction as i. I followed them down to the corner, still pretty dark, so took a quick record shot and moved on to the farm fields. Not having long here, i re
So i took a different local direction today and headed over to Dagenham Chase. For somehwhere so close its weird that i do not visit more often. I think its the fact that i dont like heading in a London direction. I'm OK as far as Romford but then, i'd rather skip the rest and end up in the city and beyond. That middle bit holds no interest for me. This is probably the same reason as why i have no LNHS list of any kind. Im sure its lovely but i'm and Essex boy not an East London one. Anyway regardless, i got to the Chase and headed to Tom Thumb. Nothing.....2 Canada Geese and a couple of Coot. Ok......onto the the playing fields then, just as i turned, sploosh, 10 odd Greylag and 2 Russian White-fronted Geese.
10 years, 10 whole years of trampsing aroung Ingreboure Valley, actually make that 8. I spent probably the first 2 years in the Rainham reserve in fear that if i was seen outside i would be severley mocked by all who knew about my new found hobby. Anyway, 8 years is still along time to be walking around Ingrebourne Valley and still not ticked a Mistle Thrush. They are there, i've been told the best locations by Dave Mcg historically, now others are telling me in a hope that i can now even TWITCH one. The thought of rushing the small distance to the Valley, dashing across the park to twitch a mistle thrush is laughable. I took my morning walk over there a couple of weeks ago. I visited the area where two of the guys had seen Mistle Thurush recently. Its one of the areas DMcg had also told me about. Nada I wouldnt mind, i see, i hear them on a regular basis. They are a regular to my garden, more so than Song Thrush. The breed over the local park, of which i back onto. I was at the Pl