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Thursday, 6 January 2011

Barking Outfall January 2nd

First visit of the year, started at dawn on a rising tide, plenty of Cormorants fishing the Outfall, around 40 with more arriving all the time. Coming in with the incoming tide were Thick Lipped Mullet, quite evident in the shallows with fins and backs exposed as they chased smaller prey.

Scanning round the Outfall revealed the usual large expanse of wildfowl plus an assortment of goodies on the fast disappearing mud.


Black Tailed Godwits and Redshank
Despite a slight rise in temperatures, numbers of wildfowl and waders were still high, just scanning the Tufted Duck flock gave a count of 580 birds, or there abouts, and still no Scaup. This has been one of the birds I have been looking for since the cold spell started, they started to show up in various parts of the Thames and London, they usually always seem to mix in with the Tufties.

Shoveler and Gadwall numbers were down as were Teal, but wader numbers were slightly higher with a record count of 53 Black Tailed Godwits, by far the highest total I have had since 2002, this was when I started covering the Outfall.

Decided to do Thames Water works so I headed back that way after seeing a Curlew landing in the distance, hopefully, I could get a photo.


Curlew, eventually got a photo
On the way, I decided to have one last look at a section of the Thames before I headed inland, as I stuck my head over the wall, there were 2 1st winter Greater Scaup in front of me. It is possible that they could have been there for some time as I rarely check this section.


Scaup and Pochard

Scaup and Coot
The light unfortunately was atrocious, and directly at me making some photo’s barely better than an outline due to the glare. Photo’s below



Scaup

Green Sandpiper

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