The Dark Room

Saturday 31 October 2015

Glossy Ibis at Wat Tyler CP

After enjoying a good morning at Rainham Marshes with 3 SEO, 3 Marsh Harrier and a handful  of Stonechats I  went along to Wat Tyler CP for the long staying Glossy Ibis.

After checking two hides, most of the creeks and fields I relocated it in a small ditch NW of the watch tower. Joined by just 5 other birders the Glossy showed down to about 30 foot. The light though was awful as it shone right in your face and making it back lit but great viewing for us all.

Glossy Ibis 31st October and a Essex tick..........

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Great day Shrike

After enjoying the Firecrests at the Dagenham Chase on Saturday afternoon with Martin Blow. We both went along to Dagnam Park in Harold Hill to see the excellent inland record of Great Grey Shrike found by Colin Jupp and to our amazement we were first on site and to the delight of Colin we managed to got some record shots of his cracking find. The bird was always mobile, perching high up in the trees but gave good views.

A long awaited London tick for me.......


Sunday 25 October 2015

Firecrest at Dagenham Chase

I've spent over five hours this weekend trying to photograph the three Firecrest that Vince found at the Dagenham Chase just along the footpath near the river Rom. At times they showed very well but always in the darkest parts of the scrub area. Associating will the tit flock which included some Goldcrest and a Chiffy but always returning to the Ivy and Holly bushes. At some points I didn't see them at all for long period time but when I did - WOW!

ISO 1250 to 1600 is not ideal but a must due to the poor light under the canopy of trees, so the images look  a bit grainy.

Other birds seen were Kingfisher, Bullfinch, Grey wagtail and my first of the autumn Brambling.

Friday 23 October 2015

Short-eared Owl

I made a impromptu visit to Rainham Marshes RSPB after work on Thursday evening due to Howard Vaughan calling on the phone saying that there was a Glossy Ibis somewhere on Wennington Marsh. After checking the area and the ditches with no sign and being teased by 2 Short-eared Owls and then 3 close by in the fading light, I made the decision to concentrate on them instead of adding the Ibis to the RM year list.

Watching the Owls just float by in search of voles sometimes close but never close enough and even sitting down on the deck waiting for the next attack from the corvids was superb.

Unfortunately photographic wise, slow shutter speeds doesn't help flight shots BUT the whole experience out ways the end product for once...

Sunday 18 October 2015

A weekend at Rainham Marshes

After working most of Saturday I still popped over to Rainham Marshes for a hour or so and a Short-eared Owl was my bird of the day. A brief fly over but a good year tick for my RM year list.

Sunday morning was slightly different as I enjoyed good views of 4 Bearded Tit.

Along with 5 Stonechat

3 Kingfisher was also noted and 5 Redpoll sp over and a Green Sandpiper was still near the Stone Barges.

Its the first time though I noticed that one of the local Kestels has a BTO ring, see photo below.

You can just see the ring on its left leg but sadly unable to read the number. All images of the Kestrel were from the car window.

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Little Grebe at Rainham Marshes

Here are few shots of Little Grebes taken from the MDZ hide at Rainham Marshes on Saturday afternoon as the light is behind you at that time and makes photography a bit easier. Although you have to poke the lens through the timber uprights at the viewing platform it was nice to just relax and enjoy watching them up close as they dived for small fish, catch a couple then return to the safety of the far reed bank.

Adult Little Grebe

Monday 12 October 2015

Goldcrests at Landguard

With good numbers of birds arriving along the coast, Russ and I choose Landguard NR in Suffolk for a days birding. Goldcrests seemed to be everywhere, with quite a few just feeding on the ground and in every bramble bush we walked past. A Tree Pipit flew over our heads calling and a Wheatear was along the beach path. Tree Sparrow was added to the day list but it was all about the Goldcrest for me, seeing them up close and on the deck and in large numbers was a real treat!

Monday 5 October 2015


With 10 Bearded Tits, 11 Stonechats, 3 Marsh Harriers, Kingfisher, Whinchat, 3 Wheatear being the highlights around Rainham Marshes on Sunday with Martin Redfern. We were both more than happy with the mornings birding. Add in a few opportunities to use the camera, good views of the Bearded Tits.No complaints this weekend......

Little Grebe


Saturday 3 October 2015

Three Chats

A afternoon session at Rainham Marshes RSPB today (Saturday) just east of the Stone Barges produced 1 Whinchat, 1 Stonchat, 2 Wheatear, 3 Green Sandpiper and a Common Buzzard. Not bad for a after work stroll along the tow path.

Female Stonechat and my first of the Autumn at Rainham

Common Buzzard with 5 Crows in light foggy conditions