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Sunday 28 November 2010

Cold Weather November 27th

There are times when I question my own mentality, It is 6.45am, just getting light and the temperature is - 4, I am standing up on the Silt Lagoons at Rainham Marshes RSPB.

It is Saturday day morning, should be laying in, my fingers are numb and my toes fell off through frostbite 5 minutes ago, all this to see an Owl. It all became worth it at 7.10am when I got onto a hunting Short Eared Owl at the northern end of the Lagoons. It was closely followed by a 2nd bird seen briefly down at the western end, both distant views but good to see none the less.

Aveley Bay looking towards Littlebrrok Power Station

 From here I headed down to Aveley Bay, big build up of Waterfowl and Waders due to the harsh weather and everywhere but the river being frozen up. Went through most of the waders, as follows, counts were both sides of the river, could just about see the other side through the fog.

Redshank – 174

Lapwing – 350

Curlew – 1

Dunlin – 200

Wigeon – 112

Little Grebe – 1, this had me going, it was on the Thames and distant, tried my hardest to turn it into a Slav or Black Necked. Unusual to see a Little Grebe on the Thames.

Pintail – pair in the Bay, unusual

Teal – 240

Common Snipe – 18 all up from the rocks

Jack Snipe – seen later on the return leg, up from the rocks and over to the Reserve.

Grey Plover – single seen on the return leg.

Redshank, Curlew and Grey Plover in the Bay

 The Reserve was pretty quiet with just about everything frozen over, birds seen were

Peregrine – a pair on the pylons

Stonechat – 4 dotted around the site.

Ring Necked Parakeet – 4 over

Redwing – 12 in the woods

Redpoll sp – 1 overhead.

Met Les and he had around 20 Bearded Tits at the Dragonfly Pools, decided it was not the weather to get the big camera out, fingers still not working,
Ingrebourne Merlin

Walking my daughters dog paid off after a visit to Rainham, a female Merlin was seen well on the Farm Trail. First picked up low over the field heading for the game crop , this is alive with Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings, she then landed in a tree after missing her target.

There then was a bit of a stand off as 30 odd Yellowhammers/Reed Buntings sat in one tree alarm calling and the Merlin in another, she was eventually seen on her way by a Carrion Crow.

Had my little Panasonic Digital camera with me, got a couple of very distant shots, unfortunately they are just an outline.

Female Merlin, once regular in the Valley

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