Sunday, 29 January 2012

Magical Merlin

 finally managed to get out today after a couple of busy weeks at work. arrived at the bay about at about 9.15 with the tide almost out the mud was full of Dunlin, Lapwing & Redshank plus 10 Curlew & 2 Black tailed godwit. try as i might with the sun so low i couldn't make out if there was anything more interesting amongst them.

                                      dodgy picture of a curlew, bad day for photography.
 Walked along to the cemex ditch( flushing several skylark and meadow pipit on the way} and spent about 45minutes there. Didn't see to much  a couple of  song thrush and a redwing  were the highlights also 2 Mute swans and a grey Heron flew over. I then moved on to the scrub flushing out more shylark and meadow pipits on my way to the middle ditch.(still can't find the stonechat that i saw regulary before the new year).

                                      couple more pointless photo's to break up the tedium.
Had my usual stop  at the small pool  for a cigarette,lI was there for about 10 minutes when the star turn arrived. A Merlin, it whizzed past me about 3ft off the ground kept low across the ditch up the embankment and striaght into the linnets scattering them all over the place. I saw it again about 20 minutes later scattering the finches at the other end of the ditch as it flew off towards the railway. Normally i then go back along the river but today i walked down to where the works are going on and across the scrub  near the house my reward was 30+ crows and nothing else until i reached the service road when out in front of me a possible jack snipe flew out i didn't get a good  look but it seemed a bit small and the bill didn't seem long enough for a snipe. l went to where i thought it went down but it never showed again. all in all a good day with 4 year 1sts and a patch first (for me anyway).The only downer was not getting photo's

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Barking bay 07/01/12

Arrived at the bay this morning about 8 oclock, on the mud were the usual suspects includung 92 (by my dodgy counting) blackwits and 18 curlew.

 plenty of meadow pipits and skylark along the river path but didn't see a rock pipit today. on the cemex ditch managed to see little grebe, song thrush in the trees at the back, mallards, coot, blue and great tits with the long tailed and a kestrel, none of which i saw last week except the long taileds.

 crossing the scrub to the middle ditch only saw meadow pipits and skylark. on the middle ditch i had 2 wren and a green woodpecker both year ticks.
 walking back along the river towards my car( luckily the gates were open this morning so i could park near the river). The tide was nearly in but i saw 4 common sandpiper in there usual place near the jetty must sort out a digiscope adapter) also a year tick.
 As i was driving of i got near the gate and got the bird of the day, a peregrine flying over from the power station a very nice year tick.

11 year ticks for the patch not a bad day.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Today at the bay

Happy new year all.
Couldn't get out yesterday but managed to get out today. The 2 brent  geese were still in the bay along with dunlin,curlew, blackwits, redshank and lapwing and a rock pipit seen from the river path.

 Moved onto the cemex ditch and had 2 water rail and a cetti's warbler (heard not seen).

along the middle ditch there was the usual mixture of finches and linnets plus several fieldfare.
and a brief glimpse of a small grey bird that stopped on a bush before disappearing down into the undergrowth b4 i could get a goog look at it. 42 species in total not too bad as there were several species that i usually see that didn't show.