|Grey Seal with fish|
Wildfowl numbers are dropping off, lakes are now unfrozen so many have returned to there usual haunts, of the Greater Scaup, there was no sign.
It was an early morning rising tide, peaking around 10.00am, I suspect that the Seal came in with the tide also, watched it come up with a fish, too far out to id, long and silvery, most likely a Bass or Mullett. It just goes to show you how clean the river is nowadays with Seal and Porpoises being seen quite often this far up river.
Many waders had already gone to roost but there were still a few birds feeding on the fast disappearing mud, totals below. Unusually, no Black Tailed Godwits present.
|Unusual to see them swimming|
Curlew – 2, both went down river.
Tufted Duck – 214 mainly Outfall
Shelduck – 28
Shoveler – 136
Gadwall – 44
Teal no’s were around the 400 mark, this did not incude the Creek.
Highlight was a Brent Goose flying downstream, possibly the same bird seen in December at Barking Bay.
Other birds of note were 29 Black Tailed Godwits along with 84 Redshank and 6 Curlew. Scanning through the Gulls produced 3 adult Yellow Legged Gulls. Of the smaller passerines there was a Chiffchaff and a Rock Pipit, no sign of the tame Fox, probably only comes out when he smells food.
Popped in to the reservoir on the way home as I do, it proved a very good move with 3 year additions for the patch and also a ‘ dodgy ‘ duck.
|White Fronted Geese with Greylags|
First up was a female Merlin, initially seen about a foot of the ground going away fast on the green sward, and then rising to clear the road, last seen heading towards the Farm Trail. A very hard bird to get in the Valley, it was once pretty regular every winter.
Just like buses, you want one and you get 2, this time it was 2 Common Buzzards thermaling, now a regular sight around the Valley and surrounding countryside, good to see them going from strength to strength. The 3rd was another Raptor in the shape of a Marsh Harrier, it came up as the Buzzards appeared and joined them thermaling.
|Marsh Harrier and 2 Common Buzzards|
|One for Sarah|
|Possible Ring Necked/Pochard hybrid|
The duck had me going while it was present, it flew towards the Rainham direction with a flock of Pochard, they were all flushed as the Common Buzzards passed overhead.
Managed to get some shots before it flew, unfortunately no flight shots, the nearest I can get, looking through Collins is a possible Ring Necked/Pochard hybrid, would welcome any opinions.