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Friday, 31 August 2012

Thorpe Bay and Barking Outfall

Thorpe Bay 
August 27th

With my wife Christine we headed down to the sea front to walk my daughter’s dog Bo, he's never set eyes on the sea before. Naturally I had timed the visit to coincide with high tide so that firstly, Bo could have a swim, or not if he didn’t like it, and secondly Bo might get to see some waders.
Like it, he was like a fish until he swallowed too much salt water and made himself sick, but he’s a game little Staffy and went straight back in, swallowed more salt water and was sick again.

Not looking too good

Walking along the beach I was hoping for some early Sanderlings, initially we found Ringed Plovers and Turnstones and I then came across another small flock which contained 6 Sanderlings. They are a cracking little wader and as always right little posers, I fired off a few shots and we then moved on. No doubt more will arrive soon as it is a favoured wintering area, 2-300 odd seems to be the norm but 600 have been recorded in the colder winters.

I must admit too looking forward to Autumn/winter, birding seems to offer so much more with the Sea and the Thames coming to life with Geese, Ducks and Waders.

Barking Outfall

August 29th

Virtually the first birds seen on arrival were 3 Egyptian Geese, a rare bird at the Outfall, only the 2nd record after a small flock of 10 flew upriver a few years back, these very nicely added to the patch year list that now stands at 94.
Elsewhere on the mud banks, no new waders in yet other than the regulars, 6 Oystercatchers and 5 Common Sandpipers working the mud and rocks. However Teal have increased to 86 with some fresh arrivals, the Outfall is a major wintering area for them, that green winger is out there somewhere.

Other than this it was pretty quiet with 2 Great Crested Grebes on the river with only 4 Common Terns on fly by’s, highlight of the morning was a Sparrowhawk relatively close coming over from the Kent side.

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