Having recently caught up with the Semi – P here, I decided to visit again, there was so much on view on the previous visit it spoiled me and I wanted more. This was once one of my regular haunts 15-20 years ago, it is a great area and Paul and others have turned up some great birds here.
Sunday’s visits coincided with a fast rising tide; waders on show were Curlew, Black and Bar Tailed Godwit, Grey Plover and the ever present Dunlin. Avocet numbers were around the 140 mark.
|Swallow(click on photos to enlarge)|
I decided to walk east in the hope of a Harrier or even a Short Eared Owl, in years gone by they were regular down here, Hen more than Marsh in winter, I was also hoping for Corn Bunting. In the end after about 2 miles none of these materialised but a total of 9 Stonechats were seen enroute, this comprised 2 pair and what looked like a family group of 5.The undoubted highlight was a group of 4 Bearded Tits made up of 2 pair with one of the males bearing a ring. I sat and watched these for a good hour and managed to get some photos which you can see below, I thought the views of the recent pair at Barking were good, these were little stunners. For the time I was there they worked the reed bed up and down, in between and for what seemed like no specific reason, they would go for a fly around, climb, do a few circuits and then return to another part of the reed bed. This happened about 4 times, not a noted strong flyer they could have been surveying the landscape for other reedbeds?
|Bearded Tit - pair|
|A male in all his glory|
|Females not bad either...|
|Going for a fly around|
|Male showing leg ring|
Additional species seen were-
Fieldfare- 1 near the car park mixing it up with Mistle Thrushes
Redwing – 2
Rock Pipit – 5 noted on the way out
Swallow - 2 west
Water Rail – 1 calling
Stock Dove - a flock of 32 feeding in adjacent fields
A very good visit, I can see it becoming a regular haunt again.