The Dark Room

Thursday 30 December 2010


I went to see the waxwings at Pitsea this morning and had 35+ which were mobile but still managed a few shots in misty conditions, they have been there now for some days now and having already seen a couple this year I couldn't resist another look at these cracking birds. As the morning went on more birders turned up and it started to get the public interested in what we were all looking at and some seemed generally amazed how stunning they are.

Monday 27 December 2010

Bittern Bonanza

Two Bittern's showed well this morning at the Ingrebourne Valley, having put in a lot of hours on the patch I was rewarded with great views. As the lakes are frozen its important not to disturb the birds feeding, so I tucked myself out of view and waited for them to come to me.

Boxing Day Birding

Just managed a short visit to the very cold Ingrebourne Valley before family arrived for dinner

Managed to see the Bittern again searching for some where to feed in freezing conditions



As all the lakes in the valley are frozen at the moment this Cormorant was fishing the small stream before drying out on a lamp post.

Friday 24 December 2010


People say there is a lot of luck in birding and today could not be more true. Paul boy and myself had been to Lakeside for some last minute shopping and on the way home we notice some birders viewing the apple trees in the Optimist Pub car park were we jammed in on four Waxwings. A quick phone call to my good lady wife Jo and I am taking pictures of these cracking birds.

Sunday 19 December 2010

Wader count

This morning I met up with Paul Hawkins at Cold Harbour Lane where we were part of the London Birders high tide count, before we started the wander count we had a quick look at the bushes and 100 Meters after the barrier Paul refound the wintering Ring Ouzel on the fence.After some record shots we made our way to the Stone Barges to start the count and we had some good numbers of the following : 196 Black tailed godwit , 371 Dunlin , 60 Redshank, 2 Jack Snipe , 5 Common Snipe, Common Sand, Grey Plover, and a Buzzard but I missed the Smew on the river to the delight of Paul and Dave MO. Some times you can't see every thing......

Black Tailed Godwits, Dunlin,Redshank

Ring Ouzel

Common Buzzard

Saturday 18 December 2010

Bittern at the Valley

This mornings outing at the Ingrebourne Valley was to try and find some Waxwings and Bearded Tits, which have both been seen this week and are still patch ticks for me. Well I did not see any of them but had great flight views of one the Bittern's which show now, I haven't been able to get any pictures of them till today although in poor light, I am pleased to get some record shots of them. Also saw a Woodcock and a male Brambling in with the Chaffinch flock.

Sunday 5 December 2010

Easy like sunday morning

This morning was spent at Rainham Marshes mostly along the sea wall area as the Reserve was shut due to the amount of snow on the foot paths. A Jack Snipe was with 5 Common Snipe on the saltings as were 6 Corn Bunting and a fly over Brambling. Two Grey Plover was on the fore shore and a Black Tailed Godwit with Dunlin . Two Bearded Tit and Cetti's Warbler was seen briefly and a Ruff flew over the reserve.


Cetti's Warbler

Grey Plover

Saturday 4 December 2010

Once Bittern twice shy

A lazy start for me this morning as I had rare lay in and was not on the patch till 10 o'clock. First up was a Snipe going over the main car park I then walked to the small paddock and the Chaffinches,Jays and Black birds were mobbing a Little Owl in the far corner.A flock of 30 Redpoll went over east the biggest group I have had for five years. Then on to Berwick Ponds which is (permit only) and had two brief views of two Bitterns together in flight which were to quick for me to get any pictures of them. So here are so shots of some birds that were not that shy of the camera.........

Water Rail

Cetti's Warbler showing its dark brown undertail coverts

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Your not singing anymore

With Birdwatching I go by the theory as always expect the unexpected and last night did not think the theory worked being a West Ham fan but we won 4.0 against Manchester Utd in the cup a fantastic result.......


On Sunday I walked the Ingrebourne Valley and had 11 Siskin, 2 Bullfinch and a Brambling was the best that I could do but 2 Bittern and a Merlin were seen by others.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Bearded Tits

The Bearded Tits at Rainham Marshes have been showing well for a while now and today was no different with a pair just near the turnstile giving great views early this morning.I did see six in total but many more are still around the reserve.


Reed Bunting

Sunday 21 November 2010

Not dull at Rainham Marshes

A dull Grey start was brighten up this morning at Rainham Marshes with great views of Black Redstart near the firing Butts and the Bearded Tits near the turnstile.The immature male Marsh Harrier was seen as were 2 Avocet,Curlew,168 Blackwit,Kestrel and 100 Golden Plover made a great mornings birding with Paul Hawkins.........

Sunday 14 November 2010

American Robin

So there we are traveling from Essex to Devon, three and a half hours to get there and still no news on whether it was showing. As we started to walk around Exminster Marshes Dave B's pager comes to life saying it was there. It showed really well with great scope views, eating berries and flying down to a ditch to have a drink and carrying on feeding, such a cracking looking bird. This was no tick and run..............we watched it for over an hour and then carried on a circuit around the reserve.

I made a big mistake and left my Digi Scope set up in the car (DOH)


Mute Swan

Pied Wagtail

Then on to Labrador Bay to see Cirl Bunting and from the car park we watched a male on the Bramble and counted sixteen while we were there and a Great Northern Diver off shore.

Then we all made a quick stop to Budliegh Salterton to see the Glossy Ibis just before dark

Glossy Ibis

Other birds seen were 2 Peregrine,10 Buzzard,Black tailed godwit,Brent Geese and thanks to Db,Jono and Nick for a great days birding....