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Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Up and running - Ingrebourne Valley New Years Day

Happy New Year to everyone, I hope everyone had a good holiday.

New years Day found me over the Valley for the now traditional start to the year list hoping to get off to a good start, so it proved with some good birds right from the start.
This year having done an Airport run early a.m, I decided from there to go straight over the Valley at silly o’clock, the idea being to try and hear a few Owls etc.. in the darkness.

Arriving just after 5.00am produced the 1st singer of the morning, Robin as expected, this was quickly followed by a calling Snipe and then a goodie with a overhead calling Woodcock as I approached the viewing area.

With the Owls in mind I headed for the Farm Trail, the idea being to head to the Optimist Woods this way, the other approach being flooded.
However I soon picked up 2 calling Tawny’s over Berwick, one quite distant but the second bird relatively close.
A very good start with the Woodcock was made even better with the Tawny’s, well worth tripping over and walking into bloody branches in darkness.

The Farm Trail - Canary Wharf lit up with the Shard showing more or less in the middle

From then on I walked the Farm Trail to the end, listened for more Tawny’s but nothing from the Optimist Woods area .Didn’t connect with Barn Owl either so headed to the Reservoir as it got light, this came up trumps with some good birds for the Valley.

Calling Little Owl down the Slips was quickly followed by an Egyptian Goose on the Island; Egyptian’s are always hard here for some reason.
The Res produced 2 Wigeon, Pochard and 3 flyover Great Black Backed Gulls, a bird I didn’t get last year rather surprisingly.

Moving on to the Glades produced Yellowhammer and 7 Red Legged Partridge on the New Tip but no Redpolls or Siskin in the Glades unfortunately.

However scanning around did produce the bird of the morning for me, distant but unmistakably a Red Kite, another not seen last year.
Lee got onto this as well which was even better.

Very distant Red Kite

The last tick of the morning was Shoveler from the viewing area which bought the morning list up to a respectable 61, without doubt my best start to date.

Retired from here for a Coffee in the Centre, starting another bloody diet so no cakes/goodies, however a good mornings birding more than made up for the hunger pangs.

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