The Dark Room

Monday, 9 December 2019

7th December

Another good session on Saturday morning with Hawky. 47 birds processed and 17 new Reed Bunting were the highlights.

3 Female

3 Male

Monday, 25 November 2019


Over the last few weeks it's been more birding than ringing for me due to weather conditions - it's been to wet or to windy to put the nets up. On the upside I've visited Rainham Marshes a few times and enjoyed the patch. Rainham however produced the goods on 3rd November when I found a Richard's Pipit flying over calling near the landfill site. It's my second one I've found over RM but my third for the site after twitching  Dave Mo's a few years back, sadly no image for this one, just a quick overhead view of a large pipit, long tail and a Sparrow - like call x3.

24th November

Great to be back ringing with Paulboy yesterday. Filling the feeders up regularly over the last few weeks payed off with 82 birds being processed with just with two nets up. 35 Reed Bunting is really good but for me the highlights were ringing my first Adult male Sparrowhawk and Juv female both stunning up close. Just a few images with the Iphone then it was a quick release.




The male was the first bird we caught and the female later on in the session. With the female being 25% bigger than the male it was he who left his mark on my hand. A big lesson learnt but a ever lasting memory of a top Avian predator up close.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

North Norfolk

I spent last weekend up north Norfolk with my wife to celebrate 25 years being together. So, it wasn't full on birding obviously but a mixture of birding, eating out and enjoying some of great pubs on offer - Wiverton Belle and the Dun Cow being our favourite two.

Started at Holkham on Friday afternoon with 3 Great White Egret, Red Kite, Marsh Harriers, 10 Grey Partridges and good numbers of Pink footed Geese but failed to find anything decent amongst the tit flocks sadly. Then it was a quick bite to eat at the Victoria and then onto Walsey Hills for the Yellow Browed Warbler. We heard it several times but in the fading light failed to see it.

Saturday was a wash out bird wise, so it only left Sunday morning to find my own stuff  and that was a bit disappointing considering the time of year. Good numbers of common birds but nothing decent.  However I did get to see the YBW briefly on the way home at Walsey Hills.

 Great White Egret at Holkhan

Monday, 21 October 2019

Saturday and Sunday

On Saturday morning with PH we ringed 52 new birds, 22 Reed Bunting and our first Redwings (2) of the autumn were the highlights, along with Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Cetti's Warbler, Song Thrush and Chaffinch.

 Male Reed Bunting 1cy code 3


And on Sunday morning we had a short session at our site with 22 new birds being ringed. Highlights were 9 Reed Bunting, 2 Redwing, Song thrush, 3 Blackbird and another female Blackcap. 

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Walthamstow Wetlands

After two failed attempts to help out at the ringing demo at Walthamstow wetlands due to very poor weather on both occasions, it was third time lucky on Saturday. With Paul Roper leading, Paul Hawkins, Daniel Whitlegg and myself  ringed 209 new birds, So there was plenty of birds to show the local birders and visitors throughout the day.

1 Grey Heron
8 Wren
5 Dunnock
4 Robin
1 Blackbird
1 Songthrush
4 Cetti's Warbler
1 Lesser Whitethroat
8 Blackcap
32 Chiffchaff
13 Goldcrest
17 Long tailed Tit
1 Coal Tit
61 Blue Tit
49 Great Tit
2 Greenfinch
1 Hybrid Species - images below

(Firecrest x Goldcrest) ?

Daniel with a Grey Heron 

A busy day for all involved but a very enjoyable one, great to show people what we do and to see so many smiling faces from young and old - and there was a lot of people who came along for a chat/ take photos etc.

Monday, 30 September 2019


28th September

A short session on Saturday morning up at Paul R's farm produced 29 new and 6 retraps before the wind stopped play. 5 Yellowhammer being the highlights - stunning birds.

Male Yellowhammer

Thursday, 26 September 2019

21st September

Saturday 21st September

A quieter morning than of late with 28 new and 5 retraps. 12 Blackcap, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Jay being the highlights with PH.

3 Male Goldcrest

 4 Adult Jay

Also heard 3 Tawny Owl whilst setting up the nets.