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Saturday, 1 January 2011

Ingrebourne Valley December 31st

Decided to give the Valley a visit in preparation for a weekend sortie to get the patch list up and running for the New Year. Finished this year on 128, the best total for me so far, surpassing 2009’s 119.

Perfect camouflage makes it very hard to spot

So easily overlooked
The main target birds for the visit were Owls and to also try and catch up with the Bittern. Standing there in semi darkness at the Optomist end gave me a briefly calling Tawny Owl in the usual section of woodland, one down, one to go. The Bittern was a lot harder to find, had a brief view of one flying back down the Lake ( still frozen), it then took me another hour before I eventually located one. Can also confirm from these sightings that there are definitely 2 birds.

Best view I got before it melted into the reeds

Cannot complain either with the supporting cast, some very good birds were seen.

Species of note were

Wigeon -10 over and 2 on the floods

Cettis Warbler – 8 calling birds

Shoveler – 12

Little Egret – 1

Redwing – 32

Fieldfare – 14

Skylark – 31

Lapwing – 123

Golden Plover – 16

Bullfinch – 2

Goldcrest – 5 in a mixed flock

Hopefully I can catch up with this lot come weekend, also visited the Apple Tree at the Optomist end to see if the Waxwings had returned, no luck.

Below are a couple of  photo's taken on Christmas Day morning before dinner.


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