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Saturday, 5 February 2011

Ingrebourne Valley Feb 5th

Despite the weather, grey skies and a 25mph strong south westerly, I ventured out in the morning not hopeful of adding anything to the list. Added to this it was also the local birders drink the night before, I was in a poor state after a good night with mates along with a Curry afterwards, it was made all the better by watching us beating Wales in Cardiff. The walk was as much to clear my pounding head along with the birding, so was not expecting much.

Grey Heron

Due to the recent floods, it covered large area’s of Hornchurch Country Park adjacent to St.Georges Hospital, they are now clearing out the river and digging drainage channels, so that hopefully it will not happen again. The effects of the flooding goes further up river and also floods the viewing area, it is one of the reasons that we don’t have breeding Redshank and Lapwing in this spot any more, and in years gone by drumming Snipe.

Teal dropping in on Berwick Ponds

While I am on my soapbox, the Valley in many ways has more potential for scarce breeding species than Rainham RSPB, the habitat on site is so diverse with many area’s totally isolated. In 2004 Les Harrison found an adult Spotted Crake, subsequently a full grown juvenile was also seen, who is to say they did not breed on site? The Valley seriously needs land management for it to fulfill its true potential, year by year some of the reed beds are reducing in size due to encroaching grass and bramble.

Back to my walk, I ended up with 3 year additions, as follows:

Coal Tit – 1 calling in the firs behind the bench on the hill

Woodcock – 1 flushed Berwick Ponds

Red Legged Partridge – 1 seen, also calling top horse paddock

Other birds of note seen or heard were Goldcrest, 7 calling Cetti’s Warblers, 2 Water Rail, a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker and a good size flock of Fieldfare numbering around 100 birds.


On another matter regarding the hybrid duck seen on Jan 30th, Les Harrison also saw this bird at Rainham Marshes RSPB, to me it is identical and it is without doubt the same bird.
Have posted an excellent  photo below taken by Les.I think it rules out Ring Necked Duck.....

Pochard/Tuftie ?

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