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Wednesday 28 December 2016

Beckton Sewage Works

Boxing Day

It’s been a while since I have written a blog post; surveys, peregrines and other issues closer to home have kept me occupied with little spare time.

With most of the December surveys now undertaken I slipped out to Beckton Sewage works on Boxing day morning, I know it’s not the most glamorous of birding sites but I have been watching the site for a number of years now and love the place, I have even got used to the smell.

As it turned out it was a good visit, my early morning jaunt coincided with high tide and the weather was good with wall to wall sunshine.

At the Outfall 22 Redshank and 3 Common Sandpipers were roosting with 40 odd Cormorants keeping them company along with hordes of Teal and Gadwall. 2 Rock Pipits were working the remaining foreshore and the usual Grey Wagtails were present.

Redshank roost with Common Sandpiper

A walk along the track produced a loose flock of no less than 11 Chiffchaffs, 8 in a bunch with 3 slightly further on, it’s the largest count I have had in the winter. Not surprisingly, given the insect food it attracts, the Sewage works has always been a favoured wintering haunt of Chiffies. It could also be milder winters are encouraging more to stay?

I also added another 2 Common Sandpipers and another 2 Rock Pipits along the track and 6 Fieldfares and a Mistle Thrush near the Centre.

No sign of any of the Seals at the Outfall, it has been a while since I have seen one here.

It looks like I am going to finish the patch year list on 77, slightly down on 2015,as with the other patch year lists it’s a good bit of fun, not taken too seriously but enjoyable just the same.

New Years day will likely find me over Rainham RSPB to start the year off again, a bit of a tradition recently; I suspect I will not be alone, hopefully the weather will be good.

Happy Christmas everyone and all the best for the New Year.


  1. Nice to see you back Dave. You are very brave with the smell, I used to live down there and in summer on the wrong wind.....and I have a small nose!!

  2. Jono thanks, having a big hooter(my nickname was once Concorde) means I sometimes suffer more than most, especially in the summer, but as stated I am now fully conditioned and 'nose blind'.This can only be achieved by birding the site relentlessly. All the best for the New Year.