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Sunday, 22 August 2010

Ingrebourne Valley and Rainham August 22nd

Am making the most of this weekend birding as my other half is away with her sisters for a short break, have also been trying to do some photography, as usual the weather is lousy.
I started off the day at the Ingrebourne Valley looking for any migrants, in particular the viewing area looks very good for a rarer wader with lots of exposed mud.Most years it all dries up but this year is looking promising, it has produced in years gone by Pectoral Sandpiper, Little Stint, 2 Wood Sandpipers and most of the more commoner waders.
I gave it a thorough bashing, ended up with Wheatear, 7 Yellow Wagtails, 19 Teal in the viewing area, 3 Green Sandpipers also in the viewing area along with 58 Lapwing.Chiffchaff numbers are rising all the time with 11 recorded along with 4 Lesser Whitethroats, there was also 18 House Martins hawking over the marsh.
Visited Rainhams sea wall for a short period afterwards and recorded 26 Common Terns all moving up river.1 bunch of 7 that I got onto very late was very tightly bunched and flying strongly as a unit, they had the look of Arctics but could not get enougth to confirm id.

Very high Common Buzzard

Returned to the Ingrebourne Valley to search another area for migrants, and the first bird seen was this very high Common Buzzard going north.As the weather was warming up and some sunshine was starting to show I kept an eye out skywards.Added 3 Swifts to the days total and then watched a male Sparrowhawk sparring with a male Kestrel, got some record shots, along with a female Sparrowhawk who came up also.

Male Sparrowhawk and Kestrel

Large female Sparrowhawk

As you can see from the photo above, this female Sparrowhawk looks quite big, they can and have been confused with male Goshawks when they are high up.Continuing the raptor theme I then located another 2 Common Buzzards, allthough they were not in the Valley, these gave reasonable views with both sitting on a branch together.Looking at both afterwards one bird was showing a lot of moult and the other could have possibly been a juvenile given that it was so fresh.

Common Buzzards

Moulting Common Buzzard

Common Buzzards

Also managed to get a nice photo of this Common Darter.

Common Darter

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