Saturday, 25 February 2012

Barking 0 Rainham 4

Arrived at Barking bay about 9.30 with the tide well out it was very quiet on the wader front a couple of Redshank near the jetty and about 20 Lapwing roosting on the jetty were all i could see. As i walked along the foreshore to the scrub and middle ditch there were a few Skylarks and Meadow pipits, plenty of Chaffinch and Dunnock but nothing else until i reached the choats rd end of the ditch where there were 4 grey heron in the ditch and a Sparrowhawk flying over the works area. l Headed for the Cemex ditch where i saw the highlight of the morning  in the form of 2 long tailed tits.

With nothing else about i decided to go to Rainham. Arrived at Rainham about 1 and headed down to where there were a group of about 15 looking for the Bearded tits. Luckily for me they popped out for a munch about 20 seconds after i got there.

First time i had seen them this year. Also managed three other year ticks for Rainham : white fronted goose, Pintail and a cetti's Warbler (heard not seen as usual). spent some time at the Woodland feeders where a variety of birds were lining up to have their photo taken.

This Stone chat was so close as i was walking back to the visitor centre i should have birdnapped it and took it to Barking Bay as i still haven't had one there this year and they have loads at Rainham.
So the day ended no ticks for Barking and 4 for Rainham.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Pairing up

Popped into barking bay on my way home from work this evening at about 4.15. The tide was in so i just had a quick scan round the birds roosting on the jetty, l noticed that apart from the gulls and lapwings the rest were in pairs. There were a mixture of gulls including 1 GBB, about 20 lapwing,  2 Curlew 2 Canada geese  2 Oystercatchers (first of the year) and 2 small waders i couldn't I.D as the light was fading and i only had a small pair of bins with me.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Its getting tougher.

Made 4 visits to barking bay this week, including Saturday and Sunday but didn't see anything new.
Also went over Rainham marshes on Sunday afternoon and it was absolutely rammed, even had staff in the car park telling you where to park. Was hoping to see 100+ species this year at barking, but it looks like it will be difficult now, as things are really slowing up after a flying start.  I will keep spending as much time as i can over there and see what happens. Didn't really take any photo's this week a couple of the Grey plovers and Blackwits on Saturday was all.

 On Sunday though at Rainham there were some real good opportunities of  getting good shots of Great tits and Dunnocks, but with about 1800 quids worth of camera equipment slung round my neck i soon realised it was useless as i'd left 10 quids worth of sd cards at home. Still with out worrying about photo's i spent more time observing which made a pleasant change.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Birds in flight

Arrived at the patch a bit later than i intended about 4 hours to be precise, didn't get there till 11.30. walked along the foreshore to the cemex jetty passing about 5 meadow pipits, 150 dunlin, 50 Redshank, 50 lapwing 3 curlew 2 grey plover 30 each of shelduck and teal on the way. at the jetty there were more of each and about 40 blackwits. Moving in to the cemex ditch  had 2 snipe fly through and a moorhen and a pair of mallards.up onto the scrub with about 100 linnets, 50 + lapwings a solitary skylark and 30 or so fieldfare which flew off towards choats rd except this one.
 At the middle ditch i didn't see anything exept a wren plenty of magpies, crows, gold and chaffinches. Then out from the ditch burst the first snipe i'd seen on this ditch managd this dodgy picture as it sped away.

With nothing else about i headed back to the cemex ditch across the scrub and another in flight dodgy pic of a snipe.
When i got back to the foreshore had a nice shot of a lapwing flying past.

With the tide now almost in i walked back along the foreshore where i had my final flyby this time it was 2 grey plover flashing there arm pits.

That was it for the day it was 3.30 and the light was fading, nothing new but a thoroughly enjoyable time.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Brrrrarking Bay and Brrrainham marshes

Double header today 2and half hours at barking and 3 at rainham.
 Got to barking at 8, the temperature in the car said -4  don't know if that was right, but it was bloody cold. Walked along the foreshore  saw a lot of lapwing,Redshank,Gulls and 5 curlew on the way down. . At the end of the concrete path by the cemex jetty i  flushed  7 snipe, watching them as they gave me a side on view convinces me that it was a jack snipe i saw last week. Feeding on the mud just past the jetty were about 25 blackwits. Spent about half hour inland but it was very quiet plus by now i was begining to freeze, so headed back to the river. With the tide nearly in i now struck lucky with  4 year firsts for the patch. 4 tufted duck and 4 Gadwall. Looking a bit further out i thought there were 3 more Gadwall, until i saw the white front to the neck on one of them. time to get the camera out unfortunatly they flew off towards crossness.

Further along i saw a flock of dunlin and in amongst them were a lapwing and 7 grey plove,r there was also a lone plover further along

Finally saw 5 ringed plovers roosting on the riverside centre jetty.
 At Rainham i managed to add a dozen year ticks for the site, nothing unusual just stuff i'd missed out on before. As at Barking i scoured the gulls but didn't see anything different. There had been a smew earlier but i couldn't find it or the beardies which had shown earlier.