The Dark Room

Sunday 27 January 2013

Slavonian Grebe

Went along to Little Brook in Dartford for the Slav Grebe with Martin and was not dissapointed with the views of this little cracker. To our surprise it was still on the tiny lake and has been for over a week now. I would of liked better weather this morning as the rain stopped play, but who a knock the views!

Thursday 24 January 2013

On the way to the gym

This evening after work I had a nice surprise while driving to the gym. As there was 15 Waxwings in a large tree by the roundabout of Brentwood Road, Romford near The Oak Pub. Just a shame I didn't have the camera with me, but will take it to work tommorrow just in case!

Saturday 19 January 2013

Morning Wood

If the weather would of been dry and bright, I would of gone to see the Black- bellied Dipper in Thetford but as it was cold, dull and snow on the ground I went on the patch and as patch birding goes it wasn't that bad. Woodcock was the bird of the day and showed quite well on the deck running around in the snow but always obscured by the undergrowth of the wood near Berwick ponds, 11 Golden Plover was also seen as was a single Chiffchaff, Bullfinch, 3 siskin and about 8 Common Snipe. The only bird I would like to see is Bittern on the patch at the moment as I've put in some time in for it but still no joy!
Golden Plover going over head
one mans rubbish is another birds nest!

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Nothing going on but the rent

I only had a couple of hours spare at the weekend for birding, so I spent them at the patch and added a few more for the patch year list. Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Wigeon being the better birds of the weekend, but more importantly young George(my nephew) managed a few lifers too as we went to Rainham Marshes as well. Golden Plover, Shelduck,Dunlin,Redshank and his favorite Common Snipe were new for him. It's a shame you don't see many other young birders when your out. He got about ten ticks in a mornings birding, that can't be bad.
Do you remember getting ten ticks in day?

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Not the only one

At the weekend I finally got my patch year list going and ended up with 54 species and it's the worst score I've got on the first day in 19 years! Can I blame the mild weather? or the amount of people,motorbikes,boot camp group shouting there mouths off? No! it's just the way things are on the patch sometimes, as I am not the only one who uses the Ingrebourne Valley. Did I enjoy the patch that day? No, I bloody didn't. Will I still go over on the patch? Yes of coarse it's my patch! The thing is I/ we are not the only ones who enjoy the out doors, so like many other birders who bird a busy place, its what it is. Just a shame it's my patch which seems to be busy all the time.......
I didn't even see a Kestrel

Thursday 3 January 2013

More please

As I spent a bit of time watching the Waxwings the other day, it was good to stop and take note of their behaviour, like one of the flock would always come to feed on its own to make sure it was safe for the whole flock to start feeding or drinking as they did very often. You know like a 'look out' then fly back to tell the flock it was safe. I also noticed that many of the close shots I got were 1st winter birds, they didn't seem that wary as did the adults and how greedily they feed, stripping the berries off the trees and the amount they drink too from the puddles or even the tops of parked lorries where the rain was trapped in the dents of the roofs. I've seen hundreds and hundreds over the years and still want to see more. Great birds!.

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Waxwing Heaven

New Year's Day is normally spent seeing how many birds you can see in a day, to start your year list off, but for myself and 'Blow Monkey' we wanted to spend the day watching Waxwings. We started off at Costco at Lakeside and had 20 birds but as the day went on our Max count was 73. These birds were always on the move around the local area as we kept finding small groups around the gardens and other industrial estates. We were later joined by my Nephew George and Martin Redfern,DDL and James H. At times the waxwings flew in and out of us while we were taking pictures. Unbelievable views! and a great way to kick off the New year!