The Dark Room

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Went back to the patch this evening to try and get a better shot of the two Whinchat that were in the top paddock. It's a little but they just won't come close enough for my 120 to 400 Sigma lens, but whatever the outcome is with my pictures I'm glad to see Whinchat back on the patch.

Top paddock

Yes, I was getting worried that the Ingrebourne Valley hadn't had any Whinchat this year. I'm like anybody who watches a patch, Whinchat is a bird that you should/hope to get on your patch. What made it worst was that Wanstead Flats and Barking Bay are getting them so why not the valley?. So today was the day when 2 Whinchat graced the top paddock, which isn't a surprise! They are always found there, but just a bit late this year.
How many Whinchat can you see?

Sunday, 26 August 2012

A day of two halfs

This morning I smashed the patch for 3 hours from about 6.15am and to be honest it was very quiet (dead), but when I got home and spoke to Monkey that the Wryneck was still at Wanstead flats things could only get better? We were greeted by some of the Wanstead crew Jono, Nick and Tim where they showed us where the Wryneck had been seen and which was found by Tony Brown the day before (lucky sod), not just a Wryneck but Redstart,Spot fly and Pied fly too were all in the area in the last few days!!! It's the first time I've been to the flats but not my last. It's a little oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle.....It was a lot better than the patch was, we had the Redstart, Yellow wag and a female Marsh Harrier over which is a site rare!Sorry Jono, but I did try to get you on to it. It just shows that the more people on a patch makes it a better one. Come to the Ingrebourne Valley it needs more birders!!!
Looks like I wasn't the only person who has not been to Wanstead before!

Sunday, 19 August 2012


Went to Rutland today with my "bezzie mate" Martin Redfern for the big birding advent, Birdfair. We both really enjoyed looking at the Canon and Swarovski stands, which were out of this world and could of spent £££££££, but best of all was the BTO stand where they were doing some ringing and going through plumage details, which was very interesting, as they caught 2 Reed Warblers with a faint band around the tail. Which I've never come across before and is due to bad weather when they were growing their tail feathers? You never stop learning do you!
Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Simon King
Mark Avery
Mike Dilger at Birdwatch Magazine stand
I think his great but can't think of his bloody name?

Monday, 13 August 2012

North Norfolk

Have been away on a family short break up in North Norfolk, where we enjoyed 5 days of fantastic weather and was able to take in some of the most beautiful coastlines around. Any birder with a family knows it's hard to juggle birding and family duties but even when I was sitting on the beach I still enjoyed seeing Little Terns and Skua's etc, without going off on my own just glancing out at sea when they weren't looking, although I did get the family to go and see 20 Spoonbills at Titchwell! The girls checked Kelling Meadows with me too!! So I was more than happy. Great pub food, Wherry beer and hot weather I couldn't of been more happier....
Their were 20 Spoonbills at Titchwell RSPB
Jammed in on one of the Pied Fly's at Great Yamouth on Sunday afternoon

Friday, 3 August 2012

Garden listing has only taken me 17 years to get green sandpiper on my garden list but it has been worth the wait, as this morning before 7.00 a.m. as I was putting out the rubbish bins one flew over calling a couple of times. When it first called I didn't know if I was still asleep, but when it called the second time 'tlueet-wit-wit', I was definitely awake, this brings my garden list to 75.
Brambling next on the garden list ?