The Dark Room

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Thorndon CP for Hawfinch

Added  a couple of patch year ticks Friday evening with Snipe and on Saturday morning Red-legged Partridge and Bullfinch for a healthy score of 71.

Sunday morning I fancied a change of scenery and choose Thorndon CP for the Hawfinches. Once again they gave good views with up to 25+ being seen in 3 hours. Most views are fly overs as they zip from tree to tree giving the a tzik like call. The dull/grey light conditions is not ideal for photography so below are some poor images with very high ISO.


If I can add a view like this above on the patch this year I would be more than chuffed....

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Out with the old

Out with the old  in with new so they say! Last year I topped out a score of 106 for Ingrebourne Valley- not bad, but on 65 so far this year. With today being the best day on the patch for months since the Osprey and Spotted Crake seen in the same day. Started off with 2 Brambling on the set a side crop then added a Male Marsh Harrier over Berwick ponds- didn't see one here last year.  After adding the norm I went home happy, only to be back out on the patch in mins as Paulboy Hawkins found  2 adult Berwick Swans on the reservoir a patch tick and a super find from Paul, then patch year ticked 7 Gypo Geese- didn't see one either last year. With Dave Mo and Lee and a few of the other locals adding the Bewick's it's been really goood day on the patch......

Some record shots below

 Berwick Swan


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

3 Winter Caspian Gull

With the 3W Caspian Gull giving birders good views on Eagle Pond, Snaresbrook I thought I would join in too. Smart bird.......

Monday, 1 January 2018

Great-White Egret at Fairlop Waters

Despite the overcast conditions and light rain New Year's eve morning was far from dull and damp. First on the cards was to see the 3rd Winter Caspian Gull on Eagle pond off Snaresbrook road, which showed rather nicely from the concrete path, really smart bird- I will show some  images in the week of this brute.

 So, next up was to go to Fairlop Waters on the way home to try and see the 2 Great White Egret which also showed very well. A short walk from the car and a scan of lake revealed one of the Egrets feeding, as I got closer to the lake a pair of Egyptian Geese noticed me and started giving a alarm call and flew off as did one of the Egrets-bugger! So without wanting to disturb anything else on the lake I tucked myself out of the way and waited for only about five/ten minutes not long before both Great-White Egrets returned and carried on feeding on the opposite bank.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Hawfinch invasion

I may of arrived late for the party this year in seeing Hawfinch as the invasion started back in October but I did really try and find my own on the patch-but failed....

However this morning at Thorndon CP in my own home county of Essex at least 30 birds showed well, some on the deck which was a real treat as these birds are really shy. Obviously I had the normal view of a bird high in the tree in the distance but most views were excellent even through the bins. One male was about 30 feet away feeding on the ground amongst some Redwings-superb!

After parking up and paying 3 quid to Brentwood council it took just 30 mintues for my first view of a single bird in flight, they are so distinctive with a large white broad wing bar and short tail tipped in white, cracking birds and here them call was the icing on the cake.

In the past I've always visited Lyford Arboretum for my year fix, so it was a real bounus to just drive 20 minutes from the door step. Thorndon Cp is a 500 acre woodland so thanks to Dave Mo, Paulboy and Lee for the info as it was spot on.

Trying to photograph them- that wasn't so easy.....

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Head to the Med

Despite the grey overcast conditions at Southend-on-Sea yesterday I used the poor light to my advantage for once. At the end of pier a few Mediterranean Gulls were sitting nicely on the handrails and nice and close to, so I set the camera up to overexpose the image and blow the whites so they bended into the background and up the ISO for a more artistic image.

Both images set at F5.6

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Dungeness for the afternoon

Last Sunday I spent the afternoon down at Dungeness in Kent with Mick S and Richard S & co for some Gull action by the fishing boats.The regular 1st winter Caspian was pointed by Mick almost as soon as we arrived on site . See below

1st Winter Caspian Gull

Good numbers of Kittiwake were seen off shore with one or two coming close like the one below.


Add in the 3 Great white Egrets on the Arc pits and some good banter with the boys it was a good afternoon.