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Thursday, 21 April 2011

Barking Bay April 21st

Arrived at the site at dawn, a stunning morning, will never moan about the weather again after the April we have had so far.(Click on photos too enlarge)

Dawn in Barking Bay
Virtually the first bird heard as I walked down to the river was a Whimbrel London bound, a good start to the morning which then got even better.

Paul had a female Ring Ouzel a couple of days ago so checked out the area, eventually located it after missing it first time round, views were good although distant.

If I keep my head down he wont see me

Cuckoo,easy to mistake for a Falcon at distance

Distant Ring Ouzel
I then decided to walk down to the river again, as I did a large Raptor came round the corner low and landed on a bush, quite distantly, initial thought was a Falconers bird, but was amazed to see a Short Eared Owl glaring back at me looking through the bins.

The eyes have it
I remember them being on site as a wintering bird 20 or so years ago, sometimes in numbers, this bird was very likely on its way back to its breeding grounds up north. Unfortunately it had not escaped the notice of the local mob, the Crows and Magpies, for the next 10 minutes they relentlessly pursued it, each time it climbed effortlessly above them and they gave up. As soon as it came down low again the pursuit was repeated.

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Additional species seen were 2 Wheatear, at least 8 Common Whitethroats, single Sedge Warbler, a calling Cuckoo and 3 summer plumed Dunlin. A good start to the Easter Holiday.

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