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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Barking Outfall

Monday January 21st

Beckton Sewage works has over the years supported a good number of wintering Chiffchaff, as stated in previous entries, I always seem to see or hear 2 or 3 birds.
This morning’s visit took me through the Tanks, these are large vertical structures which offer some protection from the snow in between and consequently some of the vegetation at the base was snow free.

I came across no less than 5 Chiffchaff all feeding together contact calling as they moved between tanks, this made me think, how many on site, the Sewage Works are massive. It is unusual to see them grouped like this in winter unless an autumn gathering is it just down to the weather? Moving on from here I parked up and came across another 2 together, 7 for the morning, I suspect the site holds many many more. 

With all local water bodies frozen over, the Outfall becomes a massive source of food for waders and wildfowl, with this you get a cold weather movement of birds you are not likely to see all year this far up the Thames.
I was looking for Scaup amongst the hordes of wildfowl, none present so I checked the mudflats.

Just a small section of  the Wildfowl

Grey Plover, Dunlin, Black Tailed Godwit and Ringed Plover all added to the year list, good birds that I don’t normally see at the Outfall other than the Godwit, this winter they are way down in numbers. 
Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Teal and Shoveler numbers have gone through the roof, around 150 of each with Teal the exception, easily 500+.

With the cold weather set to continue all week I will check again later, I suspect even more Wildfowl will arrive. 

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