The Dark Room

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Barn Owls

Before work on Monday morning 30th June I had the pleasure along with PH to ring two young Barn Owls. Both were in good condition and was quickly placed back into their nest box.

Also thanks to Dave Mc and Mick for their effort to make the morning run smoothly.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Gull-billed Tern

Yesterday I drove over to Kent to see the Gull-billed Tern on the Arc pits. I parked in the car park that was now reopened and got it straight away as two kind birders pointed out where the tern was feeding. A quick view of the Black-winged Stilt which was also on the Arc pit showed nicely. Then I drove around to the otherside of the pit to the main road to gain a better view. Most birders were now gathering here and was by far a better place to view it from and was really easy to pick out amongst the Common Terns. I stayed for about a hour then had a walk around the lighthouse at Dungeness enjoying the 2 Black Redstarts being blown about in the strong wind. And I finshed up having lunch from the fish hut- which is highly recommed!

Gull-billed Tern

Tuesday, 26 May 2020


Hope your all well and good and apologies for not updating the blog of late. Anyway here is a quick update.

Since the ease of some of the lockdown rules I've managed some ringing out on our site but missed the main passage of birds going through, however still got to ring a mixed variety of Warblers : Common,Lesser,Willow, Chiffchaff, Reed and Blackcaps.

Most of my ringing when time and weather has permitted throughout the lockdown has been in the garden ringing mostly Starling - 50+ but a male Blackcap on 3rd May was a decent record. The first Juv House Sparrow was ringed on the 8th May and the first juv Starling on the 25th May.

Male Common Whitethroat

Reed Warbler

Juv Starling

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Looking up

Like most if not all birders I'm also keeping a #Lockdown list but as a key worker that means I spend more time at work than looking at the birds in the garden. Anyway, I've added Tawny Owl and Pheasant to the Bungalow list after 25 years of trying, partly due to the lack of car's on the roads and spending large amounts of time listening in the silly hours of the day and night just to try and keep up with some of the members of the Whatsapp group of birders doing the same in around London and Essex/Kent - who are getting some great birds in or over their gardens/balcony.

This afternoon however was a special moment for any garden lister/birder as I had a Osprey circle over the garden then flew north only to be picked up by Paulboy in his garden via my Whatsapp message!


The Osprey is my 90th species for the garden list and along with House Martin seen today that puts me on 50 for the #Lockdown list so far, things are looking up!

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Half locked

With the Government lockdown in place I've only been able to do some ringing in my garden and being a key worker in a Hospital, it's only been a hour before work or at weekends.

So, not a large number yet - just 19 but I'm gratfull to be able to do some ringing and log some data!

But in the long term it will be very interesting to see how many species get recorded and how populations might change.

Here are some images I've taken on my iPhone below.


 Male Green Woodpecker

 Male Starling


 Female Starling

 So far in the garden : 2 Blackbird, 4 Starling, 3 Blue Tit, 2 Great Tit, Woodpigeon, Ringed - necked Parakeet, Robin, Dunnock, 2 Goldfinch, Green Woodpecker.

Monday, 16 March 2020

Saturday 14th March

Once the small shower passed over on Saturday morning PH and I put 2 nets up and caught a small catch of 26 birds. Highlights were 2 GSW, 2 Goldcrest, Yellowhammer and 2 Chiffchaff - one was a retrap from last year!


 Male Great Spot

 Female Goldcrest

 Female Yellowhammer

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

T to C-permit

With the weather being to wet and windy over the last few weeks/months for ringing, it was great to be out again over the weekend and especially now that I'm a C-permit holder.

So on Friday I went solo for the first time. 16 birds processed before the rain stopped play.

Saturday morning I ringed in my garden.

Sunday morning PRO, PH, DW myself and GG done a public demo at Walthamstow Wetlands and once again the locals made us all very welcome. A good selection of birds to show everyone and the star of the day was a cracking male Bearded Tit.