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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Coalhouse Revisited

Sunday October 23rd

Having recently caught up with the Semi – P here, I decided to visit again, there was so much on view on the previous visit it spoiled me and I wanted more. This was once one of my regular haunts 15-20 years ago, it is a great area and Paul and others have turned up some great birds here.
Sunday’s visits coincided with a fast rising tide; waders on show were Curlew, Black and Bar Tailed Godwit, Grey Plover and the ever present Dunlin. Avocet numbers were around the 140 mark.

Swallow(click on photos to enlarge)

Male Stonechat

Male Stonechat

I decided to walk east in the hope of a Harrier or even a Short Eared Owl, in years gone by they were regular down here, Hen more than Marsh in winter, I was also hoping for Corn Bunting. In the end after about 2 miles none of these materialised but a total of 9 Stonechats were seen enroute, this comprised 2 pair and what looked like a family group of 5.The undoubted highlight was a group of 4 Bearded Tits made up of 2 pair with one of the males bearing a ring. I sat and watched these for a good hour and managed to get some photos which you can see below, I thought the views of the recent pair at Barking were good, these were little stunners. For the time I was there they worked the reed bed up and down, in between and for what seemed like no specific reason, they would go for a fly around, climb, do a few circuits and then return to another part of the reed bed. This happened about 4 times, not a noted strong flyer they could have been surveying the landscape for other reedbeds?

Bearded Tit - pair

A male in all his glory

Females not bad either...

Going for a fly around


Male showing leg ring

Additional species seen were-

Fieldfare- 1 near the car park mixing it up with Mistle Thrushes
Redwing – 2
Rock Pipit – 5 noted on the way out
Swallow - 2 west
Water Rail – 1 calling
Stock Dove - a flock of 32 feeding in adjacent fields

A very good visit, I can see it becoming a regular haunt again.

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