The Dark Room

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Survey work

Went over to Kent Saturday morning with Paul to do a bird survey at Halstow Marshes.  Peregrine, Marsh Harrier, Bearded Tits, Raven. Little Owl, Corn Bunting and Great White Egret were the highlights in the autumn sunshine. Wader numbers were low but expected for the time of year.

Great White Egret

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Great white Egret

With the day booked  off work I was up and out early as it was just getting light. Redwings were dropping in and Chaffinches called above along with Meadow Pipits. It felt good and it didn't take long to feel really good when a Great white Egret went west over the viewing area at 7.39am. With the camera in my bag and set on silent single shot for the recent ringing session, it wasn't easy to get a record shot. However, I still managed something in the mad rush.

Some 22 minutes later Jono at Wanstead had a GWE go west too, which is no doubt the same bird carrying on its journey.

This is my second self found GWE on the patch with the first one being back in 2006 - they were rare then....

Others birds seen were 6 Grey Partridge, 2 Egyptian Geese, Blackcap and 2 Coal Tit plus 100 Redwing.

GWE and some Parakeets.

Saturday, 6 October 2018


Saturday morning ringing at the east London site with Paul produced 38 new birds and 8 retraps.

22 Blue Tit
11 Great Tit
6 Long-tailed Tit
1 Chaffinch
1 Robin
1 Wren
1 Dunnock
2 Chiffchaff
1 Jay 

The highlight was ringing the monster Adult (4) Jay and also extracting more birds under the watchful eye of Paul.

iPhone image of the Jay

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Another cracking morning in Hertfordshire yesterday ringing with Paul Roper, Paul Hawkins, Louise and Sarah with the following birds ringed.

5 Meadow Pipit
8 Dunnock
2 Robin
1 Chiffchaff
1 Goldcrest
1 Coal Tit
42 Blue Tit
9 Great Tit
5 Chaffinch
12 Greenfinch
2 Goldfinch
3 Yellowhammer

A busy morning for the group, nice to ring my first Yellowhammer as did the other two trainees - stunning birds. Also, it was really good to extract a few more birds from the nets.


Sunday, 23 September 2018


Saturday 15th September

 6am to 1pm ringing in Hertfordshire with Paul Roper, Paul Hawkins and Louise.

52 new birds ringed plus 22 retraps highlights being a good number of Greenfinch again Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Blackcap, Chaffinch and the fact that I started to extract a couple of  birds from the mist net.

Amongst all of this we had a flyover Red Footed Falcon that Paul Roper got onto first.  It only hung around for two minutes max? but enough for the four of us to ID and send  in a description of a immature Red foot.

Saturday 22nd September

6.15am to 11am at a east London site with Paul Hawkins produced the following ringing totals.

7 Meadow Pipit
2 Chiffchaff
1 Blackcap
1 Cetti's Warbler
4 Great Tit
2 Blue tit
3 Long tailed Tit
2 Dunnock

Catching the Meadow Pipits at this small site was really pleasing, wasn't a surprise as there was a steady passage going over but you've still got to catch them!

1cy Meadow Pipit


Monday, 10 September 2018

Process and release

I picked up Paulboy at 5.15am Saturday morning and headed up to Hertfordshire for a morning session of mist netting with Paul Roper and Louise.

62 new birds ringed plus a few retraps. The highlights were 18 Greenfinch, Blackcap,Chaffinch and being able to ring my first Starling, Coal Tit, Meadow Pipit and Goldcrest. The Goldcrest weighed 4.8g that's less than a 20p coin! Add in a point blank view of a Tawny Owl sitting on a post by the roadside topped off a superb morning......

Meadow Pipit below taken with my iPhone.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018


On Friday 31st August I went out Paul Roper, Rob and Louise ringing at the Broxbourne site. With 85 new birds ringed it was a successful early morning session. Highlights were 35 Blackcap, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Common Whitethroat, Kingfisher (juv) and a Treecreeper. The Treecreeper is a ringing tick and are tiny in the hand.

This image was taken with my iPhone below.



Along with Long, Great and Blue Tits, Dunnock, Blackbird, Robin, Wren it was a varied catch.