Today was the start of the winter surveys on the Essex side, this coming Sunday myself and Paul will be over the Hoo Peninsula covering the Kent side.
From past posts you will know that my section for the last few years has been Coryton, it is a good area and pretty rich in bird life offering a wide range of species.
On starting my transect on Tuesday, very overcast and grey I was not expecting too much from my 1st visit but have to say it turned out a very good survey, the undoubted highlights being 3 Ring Ouzels.
Ring Ouzels – 2 males and a female type seen, heard them clacking first. Heard later of major fall at Dungeness with 500 birds dropping in.
Corn Bunting – 21
Redwing – 400 made up of around 10 flocks, big arrival on the day on the East Coast.
Stonechat – 2
Green Sandpiper – 1
Dark Bellied Brent Geese – 14 east
Fieldfare – 2 in with Redwings
Yellowhammer – 3
An excellent start to the day as I finished the survey and then headed down to East Tilbury to pick Paul up, more good birds followed from a brief River Watch, these included –
2 Great Skua’s loafing on the river
Red Breasted Merganser – a redhead upriver
Dark Bellied Brent Goose – 28 upriver with 6 seen coming back down
Little Stint – 1 feeding on the mud
Swallow – 3 seen
Pintail - 1
Common Seals – 2
Rock Pipit – 1 but more likely 2 birds present
Other birds of note on view were both Godwits, Grey and Ringed Plover and Avocet.
Time was marching on so we vacated Tilbury but decided on a brief stop in Aveley Bay Car Park, as luck would have it, Andy and Dave were still there and on some good birds in the Bay.
With their help I then added 2 Common Scoter, Bonxie and a Black Tern to the year list, moving it on very nicely to 134 for the year, all 3 of these were needed so a good result.
Still a long way to go to match my best year at Rainham – 160 for the year but still over 2 months of the year left so who knows?
As I said a very good day and with the Hoo Peninsula on Sunday, hopefully more good birds could be added, from past surveys Hoo has always delivered.