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