The Dark Room

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Wilson's Phalarope at Vange Marsh

Yesterday evening after work, myself and Russ went to Vange Marsh to see the Wilson's Phalarope. Although distant it still gave good scope views but was a bugger to photograph due to the bird being 300m away?. Only my second ever as the first one was a few years back  in 2006 Cornwall, which I jammed in on after some weekend sea watching. So seeing  this one in my home county was a real buzz.

 Nice to see 3 Little Stints on the scape with Ringed Plover and having a chat with some of the lads who twitched the Flycatcher in Kent.

 Record shot of the Phalarope

Sunday 20 September 2015

Ear at Rainham

It seems where ever I've been this week it being Rainham Marshes, Gunners Park, Ingrebourne, work and even our garden, Siskins have been heard calling and seem to be everywhere I go.

A higher number in Kestrels was noted too at Rainham Marshes on Saturday but these seem to be local breeders and were moving the Wheatears about bit and made things a touch harder than normal to photograph.

Due to to distance of the Wheatear I've used the mono- pod on the shot below, which does help out and stops that camera shake that I've been getting lately.

1st Winter Wheatear

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Turning heads

After failing to find anything good at Gunners Park on Tuesday morning and trying to get the most out of a rare day off work, Russ and I decided to call in at Southend on Sea on the way home. A handful of Med gulls were loafing around and not doing that much, but it was the Turnstones that got my attention. Cracking birds to photograph and two were still wearing their summer kit out of a small flock at high tide.

Sunday 13 September 2015


An afternoon session at Rainham Marshes yesterday saw me bag 3 Whinchat (2 Adult and 1 Juv) and 4 Wheatear on the hill just east of the Stone Barges. Wheatears are always nice to photograph but I concentrated on the small plump Whinchats. Never close enough but the Juvenile bird would let you get nearer than normal. It was nice to get some clear backgrounds in the images too.

Sunday 6 September 2015

The pull of the patch

What is it with patch birding that you always feel a pull of some force that makes you go and check that some rare or scarce may be lurking out there. Well this morning I felt the pull again for the patch and in hindsight I wished it had snapped because it was hard going again. On the viewing area were 3 Green Sandpiper still and 2 Siskin over. I checked the small paddocks and behind the Hospital too but drew a blank. Just have to try harder next!

Female Blackcap in the small paddock, I do enjoy going through the tit flock this time of year.

You know Autumn is here when you start seeing Jay's stashing away acorns.

Also good numbers of Sand Martin went through this morning......

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Up and running

After moaning about the patch being poor lately we're back up and running with Dave Mc finding a 1w Pied Fly by the black bridge on Tuesday plus 2 Spot Fly's. And this evening (Wednesday) I had 4 Spot Fly's 2 by the bridge and 2 by the viewing area.  Now where's that Wryneck?

Also this leucistic Wood Pigeon was near the car park again.