Monday, 6 June 2016

RSPB Rainham Marsh 4/6/16

With nice weather forecast for the weekend I decided on a short trip to Rainham for just a general walk with Ramune and do some birding and didn't turn out a bad day really.On reaching the visitor center we agreed on a latte to start with,we walked anti clock wise around the reserve which took about 4 hours to complete with stopping at each hide and sitting on the various benches listening to the numerous singing Cetti's Warblers and a single pinging Bearded Tit.
A enjoyable day out and I'm sure Ramune enjoyed it too and won't be her last,a few photo's below from the day.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Beckton and Greenwich Park 24 - 4 - 16

While visiting my partner down in London we decided on making a trip to Greenwich Park for my last afternoon of the weekend.On our way to catching a train I could hear the call of Ring-necked Parakeets close by and found a couple up in the tree,so with a few minutes spare out came the camera unknowingly there was others lower down as was pointed out to me by Ramune who is not a birder but soon pointed out another 12 feeding.

After our train journey we arrived at Greenwich and enjoyed first a welcomed coffee on our short walk to the park,where I decided to have a mess around and take some photo's of Ramune,
before having a nice relaxed walk around in the sun.

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I could not believe how tame the Squirrels are coming right up for food nearly as bad as the feral pigeons,
a great end to a wonderful weekend !!!


Saturday, 28 November 2015

Far Ings NNR 27-11-15

Well I finally woke up around 8.00 and met down stairs with a coffee thanks Mandy just what the doctor ordered,my final half day here and we set off for Far Ings where a Long-eared Owl had been reported to be near the ford so we headed straight there and had a good look around the Hawthorne bushes but nothing that we could see,shortly after my old rival Graham Catley arrived and we had a chat and he said he was there all the previous afternoon until dark and not seen it,so we left and made our way to Ness Hide still aching from the two previous days we didn't feel up to much walking,so we just sat and watched for a hour or so with a couple of other guys in the hide one mentioned the Owl and that he went straight for it and also didn't see it and my previous experience with Long-eared Owls,they are a lazy bird and don't move around much which made me cast doubts on it !!!
We carried on watching and Mandy calls out Water Rail just coming out on to the cause way from the right and popped straight back in and then came back out in full view,a small skein of Pink-footed geese flew over head also a Little Egret passed over the same bird we seen previously in western approach field where the still lone Canada Goose stood.
A big Thank you to Chris and Mandy for having me and a great few days and
friends that I did manage to catch up with,it was great to see you guys again
and those who I didn't get to catch up with next time !!!

Cleethorpes 26-11-15

With wanting to do as much as I could while visiting I asked Mandy if she would like a day at Cleethorpes to try and find Snow Buntings,so it was up about 6.00 ready to catch the Train arriving at Cleethorpes just after 9.00,we thought with it being a week day it would be a bit quieter which it was apart from the dog walkers who insist walking along the waters edge letting their dogs run through the birds which is really annoying.
We picked up large numbers of Knot,Dunlin,Oystercatcher and a single Sanderling as we walked down towards the leisure centre.
Here we picked out a couple of Common Redshank and Curlew but a bit quieter than usual maybe due to the tide going out,so we made our way for the traditional Macky D's breakfast but not before stopping off at the boating lake to try and photograph the female Goldeneye which was a bit flighty,we managed a couple of shots before she flew down towards the other end of the lake so we made our way for breakfast and coffee.
That set us up for a few hours and we returned back to the boating lake to photograph more waterfowl including Pochard,Tufted duck and the resident Barnacle Geese after a while we made our way out on to the salt marsh,lots of Linnet and Skylark present but could not hear any Twite but my main focus was on finding the Snow Buntings,we walked along the not so big dunes where they are usually found but nothing we reached a makeshift bench and sat down for a while,with the weather forecast being spot on I had to take my jumper off due to being so warm,when make received a message that a Minke Whale had been washed up on the beach so with a quick scan I soon picked it up and was just starting to make our way out to it,when I suddenly heard the distinct calls of Snow Buntings which flew straight over our heads 18 in total,I continued to watch them fly to see where they would come down but they got straight back up and carried on towards Buck beck,so we decided on walking down to them but could we relocate them no chance maybe we walked past them and started to walk back up the marsh but still no sign,so we decided on having a sit down with a bite to eat and drink,with time passing and we needed to think about getting back to the station to catch the train back we started walking picking up Brent,Pink-footed Goose,Shelduck and Little Egret for the day list,we reached the leisure centre again and a flock of Knot had gathered so we tried for a few photo's but I wasn't impressed by mine but Mandy managed a couple,Again a real enjoyable day was had,on our journey home I decided that my visit would have to be cut short and return tomorrow due to very high winds forecast for Saturday,so decided to arrange a few drink with my old friend Mark that night and that the morning would be spent at a very leisurely pace and no alarms to be set,on arriving back we learned that the whale was actually a Fin whale not Minke !!!

Friday, 27 November 2015

A return visit to Barton upon Humber 24 - 27/11/15

With a week off work I had arranged a few days to go and visit friends and do some birding on my old local patch in North Linc's,arriving on the afternoon of the 24th after a 3 hour journey on my trusted stead Mandy had prepared a lovely casserole which was well welcomed and washed down with a glass of wine or two,then plans was made for the following day to be at Far Ings NNR early so with alarms set for 7.00 it was time for a well needed sleep.
With my alarm being hit on snooze a few times I herd Mandy shout me and after a coffee or two to wake up,we set off and arrived at Barton Reedbed at about 8.30 with Mandy having a few worries about going in on her own in the past we made our way through to the Monolyth,not much in the way of bird life apart from plenty of Wood pigeons,we carried on our way and stopped at Beardy corner and stopped there for 5 minutes or so 2 Water Rails was hear calling close by but no sign of the Bearded Tits that had been showing on and off in previous couple of weeks.
We then made our way up on to the Humber bank and to the Cement works foreshore,where we picked up on a couple of Bullfinch,Redwing and a couple of Great-black backed-Gulls and 5 Common Redshank,we stopped and had a Coffee before making our way up to Chowder Ness checking along the bank in case the recent Snow Bunting and Twite was still about but no luck with them,on arriving at Chowder immediately I could hear the distinct ping of Bearded Tits,and we quickly worked out that they was in the small reedbed close to the footpath,so we hurried ourselves along to them just before they flew in to the next reedbed wich was even smaller and worked out even better for us,now the only problem we had to deal with was the sun directly in our faces so I move up along a bit more to try and get a better angle and waited and sure enough they was coming right to the front on the ground and the reed tops,this really put a smile on our faces as we took photo's and just watched them 7 in total was counted before they flew off in to the Sea aster and then they went quiet,but wow what a brilliant experience to have with them.
While Mandy poured the coffee I had a scan around to see what was milling about on the mud where I picked out a few Curlew and more Common Redshank along with a lone Shelduck,but with a Short-eared Owl being reported on Chowder and the New pits we waited a while just in case but no Joy,we continued down along the back of the new pits just in case the SEO was down there but no but we did pick up some Wigeon for the day list and 2 Lesser Redpoll,this brought us round at Ness farm so what was more obvious than go and look in Ness hide knowing full well the circus clowns would be in there,so we decided to go and look anyway for 30 minutes has we both don't really like it but wanted to pick up on Bittern and after 10 minutes of waiting sure enough it flew in shortly followed by the Kingfisher hasI heard it and said to Mandy wind up the gattling guns and sure enough off went the cameras (why I will never know crap perches and back ground is messy so why they bother is behond me ).
We did pick up Lapwing,Fieldfare and Gadwall also for the list.We left and went looking for the lone Bean Goose that was reported to me that was said to be in western approach field,we arrived there to only find a lone Canada goose Mandy and myself both thought the same surely not !!!
We left in laughter and made our way back to Ness farm and continued to Hotel hide but a bit quiet today as the work party was cutting down the willows behind us out of the East marsh channel but I did get to meet Simon the new head warden of Far Ings.
We then made our way back to Ness hide seeing that the circus clowns had gone and we chatted about what they had been photographing and what the photos would look like nothing I would want to show off really anyway,we left Ness hide and made our way back to new pits to see if the Shorty would show for us but within the hour we waited it didn't and the cold started to set in and light starting to fade by this time,we decided to call it a day and made our way back home to do a Bird list for the Bird study group and tot up how many species we had seen a total of 60 species for the day so not a bad day at all which was finished off with a couple of pint of my favourite drink Lincoln Gold in the Sloop with Mandy and Andy which we had a few laughs and a bit of birding chat.
What a great day and some photos of the Bearded Tits below