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Friday, 30 March 2012

Barking March 29th

Like the rest of the week, it was great to see the sun coming up at dawn, it just seems to alter your day and perspective, you know photos will be better (hopefully in my case), winter has gone and you start thinking of the summer and places to go.
At the end of April I am going to Spain with my Mum, Sister and Brother in Law, unfortunately my wife Christine cannot make it, she will be at School working with the kids. I am looking forward to it, not only to the fact that I will be with them, but it is an area in Spain that I have not birded before. Gibraltar for one, known for its birds of prey and mass migration from Africa to Europe and vice versa, it will be good to see how it compares with Falstebo which I have birded on 3 occasions. Added to this, several National Parks near Mijas Costa, Malaga and the Coto Donana not a million miles away, I am hopeful of some good birding.
When I come back I am going to Bulgaria with Bradders and Jono, Lesser Spotted and Eastern Imperial Eagle, Levant Sparrowhawk, Long Legged Buzzard and Red Footed Falcon all await amongst many others.
Semi-retirement, I bloody love it.                                                                                                        Back to the Outfall, Black Tailed Godwits are still with us and the early morning showed 3 flocks moving up river to Beckton, probably numbering around 150 birds, a majority were also in summer plumage, quite stunning. Another 2 flocks of Redshank followed these numbering around 100 birds, Beckton this winter has become a major feeding area.


Black Tailed Godwits


3 pairs of Oystercatchers are disputing the mud and jetties, at times the noise is manic, 3 Chiffchaffs were calling down the Creek along with 2 calling Cetti’s Warblers, this is the first time I have had 2.
Top bird goes to a female/1st winter Black Redstart that flew across the Creek footpath in to a set of low dense trees; it then defied my every attempt to get a shot of it, a good bird and a welcome addition to the patchlist.
A very good start to the morning so onwards and upwards to the

Another group of Black Tailed Godwits were seen as I arrived on the Foreshore, 92 were recorded, with the others seen earlier, there is still good numbers in the Inner Thames given how late it is getting. 2 pair of Oystercatchers made themselves known in the usual vocal way, and the mud also produced 4 Curlew.Shelducks seemed everywhere looking for rabbit holes, a count of 86 with most feeding on the mud and already paired.

Cormorant with flattie trying to get away from the attentions of 2 big boys

Black Tailed Godwit

Meadow Pipit


With attitude

I also had my first Small/Green Veined Whites of the year and a single OrangeTip, again another first.
With the weather being this good I sky watched over a 2 hour period, no large raptors but both Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were seen high up along with some way up Cormorants that had the ticker going at first.
An excellent morning, no migrants other than the Black Redstart, none the less just good to be out in weather like this.

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