The Dark Room

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Before and after

Thursday 8th August

A successful before work session over in Hertfordshire with PR, PH, Louise and Sunita produced 63 new birds. Good numbers of Garden Warbler again, Blackcaps, some nice moulting Adult Chiffchaff and a Kingfisher was noteworthy.

Garden Warbler

14th August

A after work session at our little site with Paul Hawkins and young Jack produced 30 new birds and 2 retraps.

4 Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and 12 Goldfinch all Juv's were the  highlights for this short session.

Willow Warbler


Sunday, 11 August 2019

Juvenile Wood Sandpiper

Great to see all the valley birders at the viewing area yesterday afternoon to twitch Dave Mc's Juvenile Wood Sandpiper. It showed really well along with a Green Sandpiper.

This stunner puts me on 106 for the patch year list.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Over the border

3rd August

It was a fantastic morning ringing session on Saturday with Paul Roper and Paul Hawkins and young Max just over the border in Hertfordshire. A massive 177 new birds were ringed with 75 Blackcap, 13 Garden Warbler, 13 Reed Warbler, 2 Bullfinch plus a few Chiffchaff and Common Whitethroat were noteworthy.

Garden Warbler

Common Whitethroat 

Male Bullfinch

All images above taken with the Iphone.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Ringing totals

A quick update of the last few weeks ringing totals.

6th July

Out with PH 35 new birds ringed and 1 retrap. 12 Whitethroat, 7 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest and 1 Cetti's Warbler being the highlights of the short morning session.

10th July  

We made our final visit to the Lea Valley area to check on the breeding Black-headed Gulls/Tern rafts. 5 Black-headed Gull pulli and 1 Common Tern was ringed before work.

Common Tern

13th July

On Saturday I helped out along with PH at Blue House Farm Essex for a ringing demo late afternoon for PR., showing the public some of the common birds that visit the feeders but and more importantly PR to talk about the Brent Geese project and the number of geese that visit the farm over the winter months.

17th July

A great before work session with PR, PH and Sunitha,. 87 new birds were ringed 3 Kingfisher, 5 Garden Warbler, Sedge Warbler and a good haul of Blackcaps being the highlights.

Sedge Warbler (code 4)

Adult Female Kingfisher

All images were taken with the Iphone.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Seville and Mertola

On the 16th June myself along with David Bradnum and Howard Vaughan flew out of Gatwick airport to Seville for 3.5 days of birding dawn till dusk. We started the trip at Laguna La Mejorada which is just south of Seville for Western Olivaceous Warbler and Rufous bush-Robin- which are very smart! Before heading over the border into Portugal where our base was in Mertola. We chose this site as it was close to another of our target species White-rumped Swift. With Spanish Imperial Eagle, Black-winged Kite, Red-necked Nightjar, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Eagle Owl, Rock Bunting, Blue Rock Thrush, Calandra Lark, honestly birds are everywhere in Portugal.

So for now, here are some images and hopefully when I do get more time I'll share some more info/images of a really good trip.......

White-rumped Swift

Red-rumped Swallow

 White Stork


Montagu's Harrier

Azure-winged Magpie

Night Heron

Crag Martin



Cattle Egret

Greater Flamingo

Whiskered Tern

Rufous-scrub Robin 

Great Bustard

Spanish Sparrow

Iberian Grey Shrike

Griffon Vulture

Black-winged Stilt 

Black-eared Wheatear

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Up at the farm

Saturday morning up at the farm with Paul Roper, Max and Louise produced a good mix of birds before the strong sunshine stopped play. 2 Jackdaw were coloured ringed as part of a ongoing project  2 Rook, 2 GSW, Blackcaps, Greenfinches, Coal Tit, Goldfinch plus the usual Blue Tits and Great Tits gave us a varied session. 38 birds were processed in total.

All images below are taken with the Iphone.




Paul also ran the moth trap and good number were caught including 2 Privet Hawk moth below.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Sunday morning

Sunday morning I went out ringing with Paul Hawkins. 49 new birds and 8 retraps, our highest total for the site. It looks like a good breeding season as nearly all the birds were 3j (this years young). Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Reed Warbler, Blue Tit, Long tailed Tit and Great Tit all seem to be doing well so far, but only 1 Sedge Warbler though and that was a retrap.

All images below are taken with the Iphone.

 Sedge Warbler


Blue Tit