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Monday 25 April 2011

The Valley and Barking Bay

The Valley - Sunday April 24th

Walked over to the Ingrebourne at dawn looking and listening for Tawny Owls, again no luck, very hard to understand why they are so elusive and hard to find. Elsewhere at other sites, especially the London sites, they are on show much more, adults as well as young. One possible reason may well be that there is simply so much more habitat and thick cover available that they cant be located due to this, probably a good thing in the long run. Of the whole Valley, I would say that 40% of it is totally wild and out of bounds to the public , one day I suspect it will be turned into a Nature Reserve.

Common Tern ( click on photo's too enlarge)

Back to the walk, as I headed down past St.Georges Hospital, a male Ring Ouzel flew up from the path. Landed briefly in a low tree and then disappeared towards Deadmans Wood, never to be seen again. The light was not good as it was only 5.45am, so could not get a ‘ lock ‘ on it with the camera.

A good addition to the site list and way overdue, for some reason they never hang around in the Valley, as with previous Ring Ouzels this performed true to form and disappeared.

Additional sightings of note from the course of the morning were 14 House Martins, Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Yellowhammer, Common Tern, Common Snipe, 6 Lesser Whitethroats and god knows how many Common Whitethroats, certainly 40+.

The viewing area

The viewing area is looking good and drying up just right to pull in a rarer wader, If I remember correctly Les Harrisons Pectoral Sandpiper was the best one.

Barking Bay – Monday April 25th

Tried to locate Pauls spring Whinchat seen the afternoon before, and also hoped I might get lucky with the recently seen Corn bunting. No luck with either but was compensated by a calling Greenshank mid river looking for some mud at high tide, and best of all a calling Tree Pipit over head.


I was unable to relocate the Tree Pipit despite seeing the area in which it landed, the little bugger just vanished in thick cover.

Ringed Plover
A Cuckoo was also present along with a single Lesser Whitethroat. Wheatear numbers have multiplied with groups of 7 and 4 seen in different areas at the same time.3 Swallows were also seen along with a showy Ringed Plover.

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