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Saturday 21 August 2010

Barking Outfall August 21st

Arrived at the river around 6.00am, usual weather these days with a strong south westerly and grey overcast skies, wheres all the sunshine gone?
Good numbers of Terns were moving up river, and for the duration of my visit ( 3 hours) very few came back out.Not sure how far up they go, if they dont reach East India Dock Basin, they must have good feeding in between.I counted just over 30 moving up and whilst looking for a Black or a Sandwich located a single Arctic Tern which was a nice bonus.
As I was scanning I also picked up a female Common Scoter, presumably the same bird seen a few days back at Crossness, got some records shots, a very welcome patch and site tick ( 91).

Female Common Scoter with Cormorant 

As the tide came in the Cormorants started to work the outfall in a largish group of 15 or so birds, so far I have seen them take Eels, Crabs, small flatties and something that looks very much like a prawn.

Cormorants working the surf

In addition to the Cormorants there were the usual Common Sandpipers with 3 present, also 4 Oystercatchers, a single Swift over, 6 Great Crested Grebes, 38 Mute Swans and 6 Teal.

2 Oystercatchers
From here I visited the Ingrebourne Valley and decided to walk the Tip looking for Whinchat/Stonechat, both are needed for the patch and with Whinchat showing at Rainham I was quite hopeful.
Allthough I blew out on both, I did get a patch tick when I walked up a Tree Pipit.It came up off the ground with 3 Meadows, in all honesty I would not have given it a second glance, thinking they were all Meadows, if it had not called I would have missed it, the call is very distinctive.Patch tick 116 for the year.
Also found a very confiding Southern Hawker after popping into Rainham for a coffee, the place was deserted, presumably many are at the Fair.

Southern Hawker

Migrant Hawker

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