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Thursday, 2 February 2012

Barking Bay February 2nd

Cold, it was bloody freezing at dawn with – 3 showing in the car, the tide was just starting to drop with some mud already showing.
I checked the Snipe area first, as expected all frozen up but none the less 9 birds flushed which I watched very closely hoping for a Jack. With the promise of even colder weather on Friday and the weekend it is likely more Snipe will make an appearance along with more waders and waterfowl.

Frozen Snipe Pools
Moving on I checked the Graffiti area for any goodies but was very surprised to find a chap sleeping rough in what looked like a quilt, he must have been freezing but he was sound asleep. I know Paul saw him the other day and it gave him a bit of a shock, see his blog. With the sub-zero temperatures it does go through your head, is he all right, to make sure I started shouting at him, ‘are you ok mate?’ On the 5th shout he responded, ‘yes I am ok’, he didn’t sound old, I asked him again to make sure and he said yes no worries. He didn’t come out from the cover, it makes you wonder the story behind how he got there, quite sad really, hopefully he will be ok, I notified Barking Riverside just in case.
Back to the birding, walking inland produced 25 Fieldfare and a large flock of Lapwing numbering around 120 birds, a lot higher than the usual fare so possibly cold weather movement, they usually roost on the jetty. Additional to this a Green Woodpecker was seen along with 4 Skylarks, still no Stonechat.


Lapwing at roost on site



By now hands and feet were dropping off so I began to walk back, a final scope around as there was now more mud showing produced a single Curlew, Grey Plover, 67 Redshank, 83 Shelduck, 35 Black Tailed Godwits and 5 Ringed Plover on the Jetty.
The Linnet flock was hovering around 120.

Ringed Plover roosting on the main jetty

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