The Dark Room

Sunday 27 May 2012

Patch 101

It was to be a historic moment yesterday as I finally had a Red Kite go over the garden for the first time in 17 years! and as I enjoyed watching it going east I remembered that I needed it for this years patch list. So a quick run around to the front of the house and viewed it going over the Ingrebourne Valley!!
Red Kite garden MEGA!!!!

Friday 25 May 2012

Working progress

I took this shot at Two Tree Island last saturday and is only a grab shot while walking around the site. The thing is I like the shot but the Kestrel is not near enough and its a bit out of focus, so hopefully will try and put some time in to improve the action shot that I want. That's the idea anyway!

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Cream-coloured Courser

With news of the Cream-couloured Courser at Bradnor, Herefords it's one bird that was a must see for me and a hell of alot of people to, its such a big rarity I had to go and see it after work. Jono was the driver with Tim and Tony for company. The location for this twitch was a beautiful setting at a Golf coarse. Great views,great bird!!!

Sunday 20 May 2012

European Bee-eater at Glandford

Anyone who has tried to twitch Bee-eater knows its not an easy bird to catch up with, but today me and Monkey finally caught up with this exotically coloured cracker. After driving for 2.5 hrs we were looking at this stunner catching Bees from the wires in Glandford Norfolk which were over a small meadow. Its been a Superb week, the Melody midweek, Bonaparte's Gull yesterday, West Ham winning the play off final and now one of the birds I've always wanted to see in the UK and jamming in on the RB Fly aswell today. Just a shame my pictures are a bit distant. Am I worried? No! its a Bee-eater I would of still been happy to see one here in the UK and not get any photos of it.....

Saturday 19 May 2012

Bonaparte's Gull at Barking Bay

I was at Two Tree Island Essex, when Dom texted me to say that Rich Bonser had found a 1s Bonaparte's Gull at Crossness. So myself and Martin Redfern jumped in the car to try and connect with this London Mega. Luckily Paulboy had refound it, after it flew west. I must admit its not a easy bird to pick out at a distance well done Rich. Thanks to everyone for the info. Here are some record shots below.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Urban Melody

How about that then, Melodious Warbler in London today and not that far from the Olympic site too, superb, and like most of the London Birders, I got good views of this cracking find by Stuart Fisher. When myself and Paul arrived it was good to see some familar faces there and Kevin McManus, who I have not met before but have a bit of banter on Twitter, nice to have met you Kev!!. You can't beat a mid week tick and not that far from home too. It made my day! and probably alot of other birders too.
Picture by Paul Hawkins

Sunday 13 May 2012


Late Saturday afternoon I done some sky watching on top of Ingrebourne Hill in the hope of a Red Kite as there were a few in the London area but could only managed 2 Common Buzzard and 3 Hobby. However this Skylark kept me entertain as it returned to its post after its fluttering song flight. Also on the hill were 3 Wheatear and this spring has been a very good one for them at the Valley.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Barking Mad!!

Made a quick visit to Barking Bay on Monday and really noticed the amount of Whitethroats and Blackcaps that have arrived in the bay, there were none the week before but only saw one Lesser whitethroat!. A Hobby whizzed through and had 6 Wheatear. Also met up with Greg who is enjoying birding the Bay too, but both of us couldn't find Paulboys Redstart, so we will have to find our own one over there next week?
Male Wheatear

Sunday 6 May 2012

Spoonbill going left!!

Started off at Dungeness in Kent this morning with Martin Blow, which turned out to be a great days birding. We checked all the desert and moat area and kicked up 2 Redstart,Whinchat,30+ Wheatear,2 Stonechat,Hobby and a Ringed Plover sitting on a nest which was a surpise!! We spent a couple of hours there searching and also done some photography to. I should go there more often as I really like the place. Next we went to Rye habour to see the Kentish Plover which showed quite well with Dunlin and some Ringed Plover and a very smart Curlew Sandpiper. With time on our side we headed to Elmley RSPB for Black winged Stilt and could only see two of the four there. A bit distant but a good year tick anyway. While we were in the hide with about eight other birders I picked out a distant Spoonbill flying over the reserve "surperb" and it seemed to please Mr Gary Bagnell who was sitting next to me on the bench too. Their was loads of other waders to, but we did enjoy watching the Lapwing chicks just off the track on the way out of the reserve. They could be only a couple days old? Very smart....
Ringed Plover
Black winged Stilt (honest)

Saturday 5 May 2012

Patching it

Over the last seven days all my birding has been at The Ingrebourne Valley, which has seen my patch year list increase daily. The last few have been Hobby, Grasshopper Warbler and Garden Warbler and puts me on 97 for the year so far.
LRP at the viewing area