Saturday, 24 December 2011

New Toy

Thought i'd nip over to Barking Bay this morning before going to Romford to finish christmas shopping. Didn't get over there till about 10.15, but i had my new toy to try out in the shape of a nikon D7000.
The first birds i encountered were 6 great tits near the riverside centre. I reached the river just a a flock of a couple of hundred Dunlin were going of to roost (chance to use my camera)

These were quickly followed by about 50 lapwing (another chance).

there were also 15 curlew feeding on the mud

As there was nothing else along the river i headed towards the middle ditch where i come across the resident linnet , 2 green woodpeckers, a dunnock,3 robins and the resident finch flock at the far end of the ditch. Time to go shopping on the way back i saw what looked like a stonechat out on the scrub but it flew off almost as soon as i saw it and 2 fieldfare back at the river end of the ditch.

Didn't see anything special but i was impressed with the camera as it was giving reasonable shots with an iso of 1600 need more time to get to know the best settings but pleased with it so far.
Merry Christmas Happy, New year and good birding to all.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Work work work

Have been working every day for the last few weeks and havn't managed to get out.
Was hoping to go over Barking bay on the 3rd to have a walk round with dave and Paul, but got caught up in work and only had time for a quick look along the river and a near sprint along the middle ditch. when i got to the visitor centre they were right at the far end of the foreshore looks like they had a good crowd with them. Not much seen in the way of birds though about 5 Curlew 10 redshank by the jetty and a Kestrel were probably the best was a bit windy for the small birds. also managed a quick trip to rainham where i spent about an hour waiting for a Redwing to pose for me (no luck).

this is the only photo i managed.

 Been working round amersham way and seen plenty of Red kites , Kestrel ,Sparrowhawks and Buzzard.

Lots of tits too inc Great, blue, long tailed and about 6 Coal tits. My favourite though is this little fellow in the Mcdonalds car park on the st Albans turn off from the M25

 there every morning, flying from wing mirrow to wing mirror. Sometimes sits on the edge of your door if you have your window down. got next thursday and friday off, also getting my new camera and scope (i suppose the overtime is useful for something) Need some decent weather now.

Friday, 18 November 2011

barking baywatch

quite busy at work now so havn't had much time lately and will be getting less heading up to christmas.
Been working around amersham and quite surprised at how many Red Kites there are about. Managed a couple of pics with my compact of One on a lampost.

had thursday and friday off so i headed over the bay on thursday where saw paul and dave had already seen a lapland bunting and a common scoter both of which had departed by now. I headed off towards the middle ditch
to try to get a picture or 2 of the bramblings if they were still around (no luck only found gold, green and chaffinches. spotted several reed Buntings near the pool but little else. As i got near the green fence i spotted a stonechat which and got off a couple of pics before he went.

As i was soff on friday i got over there about 7.15 to try and find the lapland but as i was walking along the foreshore there was another guy with a great dane about 200 yards ahead of me. When i met up with him later he was looking for the lapland bunting too neither of us had any luck .
As i had to go out i headed for home along the middle ditch and took a couple of shots of the reed buntings

Hope to be getting a new camera soon with better low light capabilities. As i reached the foreshore i flushed up about 100+ linnets which flew off along the foreshore 2 skylark which headed onto the scrub and a single bird which was nearby which flew off on its own over towards the earth works could it have been the lapland bunting it already gone quite a distance when i picked it up with my bins and it just kept going.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Too much work

Busy week and weekend this week with work, so only managed  an hour or so on the patch saturday afternoon. The tide was well out and with no scope only bins couldn't make out if there was anything amongst the 120+ blackwits, redshanks and dunlin. other than 2 curlews about 50 mtrs apart. Thought there was a spotted redshank out there, but with not much light couldn' get a decent pic to positivly id.

 walked along the middle ditch and found 3 fieldfares at the choats road end.
apart from that there wasn't much movement at all.

At work Sunday out in the middle of nowhere in the chilterns i looked up to see a Red kite above
i also nearly tripped up a muntjac a bit later.Apart from that its been a bit quiet this week.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

3 days at not so sunny Barking Bay

Had 3 days off work this week so i decided to hit the bay. On Wednesday had to go to lakeside with the Mrs in the afternoon so i only had a morning pass arrived about 8.30ish to find a large amount of waders on the foreshore including 50+ blackwits 30+ redshanks 3 dunlin and a curlew. On the scrub there wasn't much showing 8 or more skylarks ( 8 was the most i saw airborne at any one time) blackbirds,song thrush,robins a chiffchaff  a wren and the large linnet and finch flock which now has quite a few chaffinch and greenfinch with the goldies.

friday was pretty much the same as wednesday about 50+ blackwits on the foreshore only a few redshanks quite a few teal and shelduck. Nothing showing on the scrub either, No sign of daves beardies or pauls dartford warbler.


also see francesca from the riverside centre who told me there was a seal in the bay on thursday.
Saturday  there were only a few redshank on the foreshore when i got there so i spent most of the time on the scrub looking for the dartford warbler with no joy. Again there was very little showing came across another guy from ilford john he hadn't seen much either and about an hour later  saw dave he had had a good look round the whole site without oming across much. Oh well there is always next week

In this last pic of a chaffinch any one have any ideas on what his little mate might be hiding behind the leaves


Sunday, 23 October 2011

Saturday at the Bay

Went to the bay yesterday morning arrived about 7.30 and saw a good mix of birds.
Starting out along the foreshore there were the usual gulls,shelducks,teal & cormorants
with a Redshank, 1 Curlew and a Black tailed Godwit also 3 Jackdaws flying over.

Going onto the scrub i walked along the middle ditch first seeing a large 100+ mixed flock of linnets ,goldfinchs,greenfinchs and chaffinches.  a pair of Great tits on the wire fencing.

Also there was a Reed warbler several Reed buntings a Pair of Green woodpeckers, Blackbirds, Robins, Starlings, 4 Blue tits crows, magpies 1 kestrel and  more skylarks.
By now there were quite a few dog walkers marching about, another falconer with a Harris hawk
 ( or they called hawkers) and a brownie troupe stamping about so i decided to call it a day. Walking back along the foreshore there was a single black tailed godwit  to finish the day.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Usual Suspects

went over the patch today for an hour around lunch time and came across all the usual suspects
2 Redshanks, 12 teal, plenty of black headed gulls and shelduck a common tern flying past, lots of cormorants

2 skylark and a  large flock of linnets and goldfinches. On the scrub was a Great tit, Robin 3 Black birds a magpie and a Harris Hawk  yep there sitting on a bush in front of me was a Harris Hawk ( No wonder there  wasn't anything about on the scrub and by the middle ditch).

On Saturday sfternoon i popprd over for half hour and saw a bird flying down the thames at first i thought it was a lapwing but when i got it in sight of my bins i could see it wasn't but havn't a clue what it was can only say it looked very much like pictures of a manx shearwater. So if any one can think what it might have been please let me know. It wasn't an Oystercatcher as it didn't have a very long beak.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Big brother is Watching you

 Saturday 8/10/10
Got fed up with watching England get stuffed by France on saturday, so i popped over Barking bay for an hour or so. Only waders on the mud were 3 Redshanks and a common sandpiper in the edge all of which scarpered as i arrived. Only photo i got was of a lesser black backed gull. Moving onto the scrub i came across plenty of Skylarks and meadow pipits heard a reed warbler but never saw it in the reeds on the middle ditch. 1 Sparrowhawk and  the usual mixed flock of linnets and goldfinches. By now there were plenty of dog walkers about with dogs running around the scrub i decided to call it a day.

Big Brother
On Monday i was passing whilst working so i popped over and parked by the riverside centre.
The tide was full in so i just sat in the car drinking a cup of tea when i noticed a juvenile Starling perched on the bush in front of me. As i had my camera on the back seat i thought i'd take a couple of shots, so i got out and started snapping.
Then a women calls out from the centre that if i was going to take photo's i had to sign in.I'd never heard of this before so i asked her why and she said the police have told them that any one taking photo's has to sign in.
I asked her about the week-ends when there not in, she told me you have to tell security, So i said what about people who come in from choats road She said "Well we cant catch everybody". Perhaps its just me that hasn't heard this before but i thought the foreshore was a public footpath.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Too little too late.

Looks like Summer finally arrived this week, too little to late. Probably be snowing next week.
Had to work this week end but managed a couple of hours over Barking Bay on saturday morning.
not much on the river so i headed for the scrub. Plenty of skylarks and meadow pipits.

Large mixed flock of linnets and goldfinches plus a Greenfinch. Pair of great Tits. A Dunnock couple of Whinchats and a Stonechat.

Also an adult Green Woodpecker with a Juvenile (i think).

No kestrels but 1 SparrowHawk
Popped over for an hour before work Sunday morning but it seemed dead and i left about 9ish it was too hot by then. Saw a Sparrowhawk having a row with a crow but little else.If anyone notices that my i.d.s are wrong please feel free to correct me i won,t be offended  promise. All in all there wasn't much going on all week end it was just too hot even early in the morning.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Knot a bad Week end

Went to the bay Friday morning, Saturday morning & Sunday morning.
Had a few decent sightings including:
BlackTailed Godwit, Saturday & Sunday.  2 Common Sandpipers on Saturday, 4 Avocets on Sunday morning.
Met Dave and Paul on Saturday as i was coming off the scrub after not seeing much,  (the significance of that you will see if you read Pauls blog) . I did hear a Cetti,s Warbler and saw a Great tit plenty of Linnets & Goldfinch. When i met Paul and Dave they were on a Knot feeding on the mud which stayed until the rising tide sent it on its way.

 Other sightings away from the river were a Willow Warbler on Friday, Quite a few Robins on all days, a Great tit on Saturday. 6 Meadow pipits on Friday 5 skylarks Sunday,  2 whinchats on Friday Wheatears on all days 2 Hobbies on Friday ,Kestrels all Days and a Sparrowhawk on Sunday

All in all quite a productive week end unfortunatly i didn't see the Wryneck Paul spotted in the scrub
on Saturday morning even though i spent about hour and half on the scrub

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

New binoculars

Got my new binoculars yesterday, Hawke frontier ED 10x43. So thought i'd take them with me today
and pop over Barking Bay after work. Arrived there just after 4pm and the
light wasn't good, but i was quite impressed with the new bins saw a greenshank on the mud (just typical when i havn't got my camera with me) also a pair of whinchats hanging around a small bush next to the waterfront path
Not much about but i was only there for about 40 minutes.

If you look hard enough you can see the spotted flycatcher from Rainham on the 15/09/11

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Grey day all round

Went over Barking Bay yesterday, not only was the weather grey the birds were to.
first off was a Grey heron on the mud. Next up came a pair of Grey plovers that flew off the mud and over my head just as i was texting my daughter had to drop the phone to try to get a picture.

With nothing more along the river i decided to look down the middle ditchto be greeted by a Whitethroat and a Dunnock.

Walking back along the top path i had another Grey in a Grey wagtail. I also saw 5 Skylarks 2. Meadow pipits and  7or 8 yellow wagtails flew over. No whinchats or wheatears today. Fared well with the raptors with 2 kestrels (unfortunatly i only got a decent photo from the back).

 1sparrowhawk and a Buzzard over near the pylons. on Friday i popped into Rainham for an Hour after work and managed to see a cettis warbler in the reeds past Ken Barrett hide but only breifly too quick for a photo walking back  Through the cordite store i saw a flock of small finches high in a tree on the far side took a few photo's hoping they might be siskins not a good photo but they lookm like goldfinches all except 1 which looks like a willow warbler.
Finally as i walked to tjhe end of the trees i saw a few people looking up at a bird which had gone b4 i got there to be told it was a spotted flycatcher.they all went so i hung around and was rewarded after about 10 mins when it re appeared for a bit.