First of all, a Happy New Year to all.
I decided on a visit to the Bay to get the patch list up and running, I arrived at dawn in the slim hope that I might pick up a Short Eared Owl hunting. After last year’s 2 separate sightings it was possible that a bird could be wintering, none materialised but one might show if it gets colder.
|Dark Bellied Brent Geese (click on photos to enlarge)|
Best birds of the day go to 2 Dark Bellied Brent Geese initially picked up going up river and then seen again later with Paul who had joined me, a good start to the day as with the milder weather none of us was expecting too much in the way of rarities.
Black Tailed Godwits were out in force with 100+ on our side of the river, 14 Curlew was also a good count; these seem to increase every winter in Inner London.
|Black Tailed Godwit|
The ever elusive Stonechat still eludes me despite covering most of the site in 4 hours.
Best of the rest, was 50 Fieldfare, Peregrine, Rock Pipit, Grey Wagtail and a single Redwing, I ended the session on 53 species, not a bad start to the year.
We also met up with a couple of Falconers, one with an immature male Peregrine and the other a female Harris Hawk, cracking looking birds as you can see from the photos below. The downside to these being on site is that everything just buggered off; the Black Tailed Godwit flock went straight over to Kent on sight of the Peregrine.
|Female Harris Hawk|
|Theres nothing quite like a Peregrine stare|