Thursday 28 February 2013

Female Blackstart

Russ picked out this female Black Redstart today and it was joined by the male at the Rainham site.

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Down by the River at Rainham tuesday 26th feb

The busy Black Redstart.

The equally busy Grey Wagtail

The very busy Water Rail,  the day before.

I always get this species of Cetti's which never come out,      Russ always gets the other species that sit out and pose.

Friday 22 February 2013

Abberton Reservoir wednesday 20th feb

Smew.    Bitterly cold and cloudy day,  but the birds were there.   The causeway seem to be the place where everything was turning up,  we had 5 smew,  2 drakes and 3 redheads,  3 White fronts turned up and like the smew kept their distance.   2 Bean Geese were recorded although we never saw them.    A number of Goosander were about and 3 Bewicks also made an appearance.  A Marsh Harrier hunted around from time to time given away by the large flock of Jackdaws sweeping up and down from the trees.    The reserve round the visiter center is looking really promising with a number of landscaped ponds,  fields, and freshly planted woods.   There are quite a few fences all around the site which are attracting Corn Buntings and I should imagine in a month or so Wheatears and Whinchats.   In the comfortable Center there is a welcoming log burner and through the windows you can see Skylarks and Pipits on the Grass outside.   On the damp ground on the hills we put up a few Snipe and spotted a couple of Stonechats and a Buzzard.  A very pleasing day,  except for the cold.

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Dungeness Monday 18th feb

Bittern,  Arc Hide.   What a great day Russ and I had at Dungeness First stop was at Arc Hide where we had the Bittern and 12 Redheads including one adult Drake.  There were also plenty of wildfowl there.   We then went to the Power station and beach,  we never saw the Black Redstarts that had been around but lots going on on the sea.   There were birds as far as you could see,  Razorbills,  Guillemots, Gannets,  Gulls, Divers, and probably more if you could pick them out.    The Glaucous was there but we didn't see it.   On the reserve the Penduline Tits had appeared but not for us.   We did glimps the Bean Geese though and had some good views of the Barnacle Geese.    Other birds we caught up with were, Goldcrests,  Firecrest outside Arc hide, Marsh Harriers, Great white Egrets,  Tree Sparrows,  Chiffchaffs.  


Male Sparrowhawk.


My life!

Gannet,  lots out at sea but coming in now and then



Little Gull.


Tree Sparrow.

One of Four Great White Egrets on the reserve.

Redhead.  12 of these.
Chiffchaff. Quite a few of these.

Sunday 17 February 2013

The Waterlogged Valley

As we all know the Ingrebourne Valley is Waterlogged and is a giant  Scrape from one end to the other, and on both sides of the river. In my opinion it may not be a bad thing for a while.     If it stays like this for some time I believe it could possibly attract some good migrants,  especially if it subsides a bit and leaves some mud.   There are already a good number of Snipe on the marsh which can be hard to spot or calculate unless they are disturbed.   So my point is I think we should be extra vigilant in the next few months to try to spot what comes in there and not just from the viewpiont.   Dave.

Thursday 14 February 2013

Dipping the Dipper and other birds in East Anglia

I must be almost the last person to dip the Dipper.    What a strange bird,  it has took up residency not on the main river Thet but on a small tributary coming off from it  winding through some trees and flowing quite fast in places looking like a scene from Derbyshire.   It must feel at home here,  plenty of food,  plenty of admirers,   probably why you can get so close to it it has got used to people.   How ever it found this place God only knows,  it is actually singing,  and if it wants to find a mate.....  what chance of another coming this way?       The only downside of this trip was the weather,  cold,  dull, and dismal.   The brightest day was saturday on the north coast where my son and I went from Titchwell to Salthouse.  Didn't see much in the way of rareties but it's aways a pleasure to be there.     On the way home on wednesday we called in at Wimpole Hall to twitch the Hawfinch which has been feeding in the cafe garden for a number of weeks.  According to some people who had seen it it had been feeding and sitting  yards away,  and photo's of the bird confirm this.    It wasn't our day so after an hour we left.   There are a pair of Ravens in the area also.

Dipper, Thetford.

Snow Bunting, Salthouse.

Snow Buntings bathing in a puddle, Salthouse.

Brambling, Titchwell.

Redshank, Salthouse.

Spotted Redshank, Titchwell.

Knot, Titchwell.

Curlew, Holme.

Water Rail,  Titchwell.

Four Cranes, Lakenheath Fen.

Tree Creeper, Lakenheath Fen.