The Dark Room

Sunday, 23 April 2017

In the bag

With Whimbrel, Common Tern added on Friday evening at Rainham Marshes plus Yellow Wagtail and Corn Bunting late Saturday afternoon it was just nice to unlock the camera from its bag and get a few keepers for what seems like months. So much so when my first Whimbrel of the year flew towards me on Friday the camera was still in the bag but I did managed to keep one of the images from the 10 fired off the camera. However on Saturday with the camera unlocked , 10 Wheatears near the tip provided some good photo opportunities and even better to hear the male Wheatear below singing which is something you don't hear often in London bird recording area was a real bonus too.





Whimbrel

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Red

The last seven days birding the valley have been a big improvement of recent weeks, what with the successful twitch of the Jack Snipe mid- week found by Dave Mc which showed nicely from the viewing area and only my third in over 23 at the Ingrebourne and the fact that migrants are now  trickling through.

Saturday morning I started at the viewing with 3 Green Sandpiper and 3 singing Willow Warbler and 1 Reed Warbler and then made my way to the small paddock for a  Redstart or a patch tick Ring Ouzel? but instead more than happy with a tatty Red Kite as it drifted west towards the reservoir. As I high fived the dog walkers, joggers and those who were riding bikes as I crossed the black bridge a male Common Redstart fanned out its beatuiful red tail like a pack of playing cards as it was being chased by a Robin. A all to brief view but a close one of a good patch bird. (77)

 Jack Snipe


 Thanks to Nick Croft for the use of his camera for the after work/dinner mid-week twitch.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Slow going

Saturday morning I added Wheatear and Sedge Warbler to my very small year list at Rainham Marshes. Other than that a few chiffy's and the odd singing Blackcap, that was it really......

Sunday afternoon I had my first Swallow of the year in Upminster. So as you can see it's slow going still....


One of the two Wheatears at Rainham Marshes, always good to see your first one of the year.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

70

Sunday morning I bagged five patch year ticks whilst whizzing around on my mountain bike they were Chiffchaff, Yellow Hammer, Stock Dove, LBBG and Red crested Pochard. The pair of Pochards still on the reservoir have been in hiding for the last three visits- so I'm happy with that one and that makes  it number 70 for the patch.


If a Dunlin makes it on to the patch list this year it would only my second in over 23 years.......

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Ingrebourne update

After four failed attempts the female Brambling that's been kicking around the visitor centre at the Ingrebourne valley  for a while now is finally on the my patch year list. The early start was all I needed as previously all visits were after work.  It's been faithful around the feeders, so with Monday and Tuesday off work it was 'job done'. With good views on Monday morning I went went back with the camera on Tuesday.

  
With Woodcock, Scaup, Waxwing, Stonechat being the latest additions I wonder what will be next?

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Hand warmer

The weather may of been overcast and dull but the mornings ringing session back down at Beckton sewage works with Paul 'boy' Hawkins was multicoloured.

19 new birds trapped and a few retraps made it nice and steady with a smart female Reed Bunting, Blue and Great tits, Dunnock, Robin and my favourite Long tailed Tits- new for me in the hand. They may be tiny but the warmth that they generate in the hand for just a few seconds holding them is just amazing, like a small hand warmer.


 Long tailed Tit

Female Reed Bunting

Blue Tit

Great Tit

Dunnockl


Thanks again Paul.....

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Patch year tick

Last week while enjoying our first skiing holiday in Bulgaria along with 14 other family members and friends in the resort of Bansko. A group Waxwings were spotted in Airfield Way Hornchurch near the GI pub and this morning was the first time to have a look, luckily 30 were still present in the same tree and the fact that they did fly into the Ingrebourne valley airspace for a welcome patch year tick made it more special!


A soft image at ISO 1250 F5.6 in this mornings snow.....  (patch year tick)