Friday 27 May 2011

Rainham Marshes 7pm - 9pm Thurs 26 May 2011

Shaun and I led a walk around Rainham Marshes last night. Late afternoon there were down pours and thunder and lightening, so it was a suprise the walk went ahead, and even more of a suprise that there was not a drop of rain during the walk. Unfortunately there were not many birds to be found.

I think those attending still enjoyed their walk and the bits we did see/hear inc. which included 3 cuckoos of note.

Thursday 12 May 2011

Patch update - Thurs 12th May 6.15pm - 7.15pm

Another pretty quiet session on The Slack, with 1 LRP, 1 Common Sand and 1 Common Tern.

This is the flooded area by the stables where one day soon I am going to find a Spotted Crake and a Squacco Heron!

I didn't know birds could read, I think this sign is aimed at dog walkers not the birds themselves!!

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Patch update - Wed 11th May 6.15pm - 7.15pm

With plenty of good habitat on The Slack surely it is just a matter of time until a decent passage wader stops off for some R&R! The Ingrebourne Valley viewing area is just a mile away as the crow flies and has had a Bar Tailed Godwit and Temmincks Stint in the last week, but it has much greater coverage and it's likely that birds are slipping through the net at The Chase.

Tonight The Slack produced of note 2 LRPs, 1 Common Sand, 1 Common Tern and 1 Swift. There's always next time!

Sunday 8 May 2011

Last night I dreamt of a tall bird with long legs and .........

Cracking day out in north Norfolk today with Jono, Stuart and Nick. Our first stop was over in the very east of north Norfolk for White Stork. On arrival at 7.30am there was no sign, so we split into 2 groups, with Jono and I heading to the local land fill site and Stuart and Nick searching the local fields. An hour or so later, bingo! Stuart and Nick had relocated the bird distantly over the river in Suffolk. We viewed the bird distantly (from Norfolk) for 15 minutes before it took flight, heading our way. We hoped it would land in the pools nearby but a crow had other ideas and chased it away, although it appeared to land not too far away. A good start to the day, especially for the others as it was a lifer for them. It my 2nd after a bird at Rainham Marshes briefly in 2006.

Next it was the long and slow drive to Cley where the previous night's Citrine Wagtail was still present. On arrival almost 1.5 hours later the bird had not been seen for hours so rather than stand around chatting we headed to the main reserve to check out the scrapes. On route we had Wheatear and Yellow Wagtails, in Eye Field, including a very smart Blue Headed Wagtail and on the north scrape, from the hide, we added 4 Temmicks Stints. On the shingle bank 200 yards away 5 Shore Larks were very skittish but provided good scope views.

After a long walk round we arrived back at the Citrine Wagtail site to be told it has been seen briefly in flight, however, we had also found out via the visitors centre log book that a Richard's Pipit had been reported back in Eye Field, so back we went again. Passing Winchat on a fence, we arrived at Eye Field and located the large pipit straight away. Distantish but decent scope views gave us plenty of discussion points, leading us to rule of Tawny Pipit, leaving us happy with an ID of Richards. Finally after giving up on the Citrine Wagtail, 7+ Wood Sandpipers were found on a scrape by the car.

A great day could only have been better if the Collared Flycatcher at Holme had been found an hour earlier, as by the time we got the news were 30 miles away on our way home. At least we'd seen one before, otherwise I think we'd have turned around and gone back, and faced the wrath of Mrs' B and L!

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Patch update - Wed 4th May 6.45pm to 7.45pm

Another brief visit this evening still fails to produce any new waders on The Slack. One LRP was present plus a Reed Warbler and Little Grebe on Hooks Hall Pond.

Patch update - Tues 3rd May 7pm - 7.45pm

I managed just a quick visit in between dropping dropping off and picking up Sophie from Brownies last night. With only 45 mins available I only had time to check out The Slack, hoping for a new wader arrival. With the backdrop of a glorious setting sun, the only birds of note were 2 Little Ringed Plovers - there was no sign of the Ringed Plover.

I'm still waiting for Redshank, Greenshank and Bar Tailed Godwit this spring.

Monday 2 May 2011

Ringed Plover - The Chase

Patience paid off this afternoon with a Ringed Plover on The Slack at The Chase. As usual on arrival I was greeted by people and dogs on The Slack and not much happening birdwise. Rather than walk round I decided to stake out The Slack once the tresspassers had cleared off. Having mistaken an LRP for a Ringed Plover in the heat haze from the far bank I headed round for a better view, to confirm it was in fact an LRP. I bumped into Vince who also had the same idea to stay at The Slack. Vince had had a Ringed Plover earlier in the day (his 1st for 15 years on site) but in an hour or so it could not be relocated.

Flyover Buzzard, Hobby (2) plus 2 LRPs, a Common Sand, a White Wagtail and the usual 2 Egyption Geese helped the time pass, but after 2 hours it was time to go. Just as I was about to leave I noticed the 2 LRPs had turned into 3, and upon closer inspection we realised the Ringed Plover was back! The record pics below wont win and competitions.

This patch birding is hard work but at least the journey home is only 5 minutes and it doesn't cost a bomb in petrol!