The Dark Room

Saturday 24 November 2012

A Waxwing at Rainham Marshes

I've been lucky over the years to see some rare and scarce birds at Rainham Marshes and even found some too, but todays bird, a single Waxwing was a new site tick for me and many other people too. News came out, when I and few other London birders were checking the Gulls on the tip and the only bird of note was a single Med Gull. So we all made a mini twitch along to the Reserve and viewed from the balcony as it stayed in one of the large trees on the garrison estate. Not the best shots of a Waxwing I've taken but who cares, its a Waxwing! and it brighten up a very dull day bird wise and weather wise!!.

Monday 19 November 2012


Here's some poor record shots of the Richard's Pipit I found at Rainham Marshes RSPB on Saturday. As we were walking on the board walk towards the firing butts, a bird called a few times a bit 'sparrow like' and quite loud. I fired off some shots as it flew across from Purfleet scrape towards the sea wall still calling, which you can just see in one of the shots. The flight was undulating and you can see, its a large Pipit and some of the tail feathers are missing and white in the tail. Straight away I phone Howard, who was working that I had a Dicks Pipit go over but on the phone I couldn't tell him about the plumage detail but was 100% sure it was a Richard's Pipit. So when I returned to the centre to show a few people the back of camera, its was case of 'bloody hell well done'. Its my 2rd Richards Pipit for the site as I saw the one Dave Morrison found a few years back and the 4th one I've seen in the UK.If you Google poor flight shots of Richards Pipit, its spot on.

Sunday 18 November 2012


Went down to Dungeness in Kent with Jono,Bradders and Monkey as there have been some good birds there in the last few days/weeks. First up was the Great White Egret on the Arc pit, which showed well from the car. We quickly moved on to the lighthouse to see if the Pallas's Warbler was still around but with clear skies the night before it had moved on. A few finches went over head and we checked the moat which was quiet. Then it was the Glaucous Gull, which showed well out on the mud near the fishing boats and Black Redstart was also nearby. A quick chat with some of the London Birders who were also on a day out in Kent and we were on our way again, but this time to the local cafe for breakfast in New Romney. Once we started eating, news broke of a Desert Warbler at Samphire Hoe and we spent the rest of the day there looking and checking every bush and blade of grass, but with no luck.
3rd Winter Glaucous Gull
Bird of the day for me. I just love Gulls, specially white wingers!

Saturday 17 November 2012

Rainham Marshes

Went along to Rainham Marshes with my nephew George who is 11 years old, for bit of photography, the weather wasn't that great for it but we made the most of it.Marsh Harrier, SE Owl and some good numbers of Waders were the highlights birdwise, but for me was watching George enjoying the use of my camera.

Saturday 10 November 2012

' te-ehp'

Really enjoyed the patch this morning, as soon as I left the car park a Water Rail showed well as did some Cetti's Warblers. As I made my way towards the viewing area I heard a Brambling calling which was defintely bird of the day, which takes me to 110 for the patch year list. I crossed the bridge and went around Berwich Glades where good numbers of Redwings and Fieldfare seemed to be in every bush. Four Bullfinch brighted up the dull day weather wise and 2 Chiffchaff were in with a Tit flock still. Photo wise, only got some record shots of a Kestrel with a Shrew.
Kestrel in black and white
It was nice to see a Kestrel with prey for once..

Sunday 4 November 2012


Here another shot of the very smart Hume's warbler, which kept the small crowd very happy, showing well at times, as it fed along side Goldcrests!
I do like taking crowd shots at twitches showing that all ages go on them, men and women, but worryingly not that many young people!. So next weekend I'm going to take my nephew out birding who is only eleven, so maybe his enjoys our hobby too!

Saturday 3 November 2012

Hume's Leaf Warbler

Having not felt well all day Friday I thought I would not do any birding on Saturday morning, but waking up at silly O'clock I thought I might as well drive all the way to Beachy Head to try and see the Hume's Warbler, which had been there for a few days now. On arriving the weather was really foul, and I started to think that I should of stayed in bed, but after five minutes I had a female Merlin go through and the Hume's was calling in the small wood called Belle tout wood and I suddenly felt a lot better!. I watched the bird for two and half hours along with some 30 birders in the end with the warbler calling a few times , which is a bit shorter and lower pitched than Yellow browed, with dark legs and a much duller plumage than Yellow browed, it's still a very smart little bird!.