The Dark Room

Tuesday 22 March 2016

Great Crested Grebe

Spent 2.5 hours watching and photographing a pair of Great Crested Grebes today on a local fishing lake, luckly with no fisherman present I enjoyed the elaborate courtship display all to myself- stunning!

A calm water surface and clear backgrounds was the idea but not always achievable, so I've delected most of the images and here are some of the keepers.

Sunday 20 March 2016

High up

Added Chiffchaff and Common Scoter (5) to the Rainham Marshes year list over the weekend. Other than missing the Jack Snipe and seeing a Raven , things were again standard on the reserve.

A quick check on the Lesser-spotted Woodpecker site on the way home produced 1 Male high up in the canopy briefly.

Tuesday 15 March 2016


This male Firecrest at the weekend was singing when I arrived on site but was always in deep cover and only now then would show for a split second. The camera would hunt all the time due to all the branches in way, so I'm lucky to come away with these poor shots- but what a little cracker!......

Sunday 13 March 2016

Lesser spotted Woodpecker

Once again the birding continues to be good locally with a pair of Lesser spotted Woodpecker showing well this morning (Sunday). To hear them calling and drumming at times it's a sign that spring has truly sprung into action.

Not always easy to pick out high in the tree canopy but with their Kestrel like calls, it doesn't take to long to find them and get good views. But to photograph them- that's a different matter....


Tuesday 8 March 2016

Roll on the spring migrants

The main reason for going to Southend-on-Sea Sunday morning was purely a photography session-but I still had my binoculars around my neck honest.
I set up just pass the pier at the waters edge as it was high tide with my camera resting on top of the camera bag to get some low level shots and clear backgrounds, which I like getting if possible. I was hoping for some Med Gulls but I didn't see any, which wasn't a problem as the Turnstones and some Starlings provided the entertainment for this short session....


Male Starling

Female Starling

Roll on the spring migrants!

Sunday 6 March 2016


This Short-eared Owl ditched down in the long grass at Rainham Marshes on Saturday afternoon and allowed me to use a bit of field craft to get some cracking views and also some images.

Along with another SEO, 2 Marsh Harrier and finally catching up with the Merlin out on Wennington Marsh it was a very enjoyable after work session.

(record shot) Yes the small falcon on the post is the very smart Merlin.