Serin,Isla's middle name...

Serin,Isla's middle name...

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Used abused,i feel like a Whore

Birds have a way of making me feel like an Amsterdam Prostitute.In colder weather they flock to my garden to sample my wares.Once the weather warms up they tend to bugger off to where they came from before.My garden was a hive of activity in the cold weather with the Waxwings being the number one attraction.Today i have watched the feeders and i have seen 1 blue tit,1 robin,a great tit and a collared dove.
I did have 5 snipe over the house but there was no chance of them coming down to join me.
Birds,if you are watching,my garden is the nuts,come and join me!!!

Monday, 27 December 2010


Its late at night and i am watching the test match,Trott has just got 150.
But more importantly Arsenal have just proved that if they hastle teams and play to their strengths they can beat anyone in the Premier league
Djourou,you were quality
I hate Chelsea and Arsenal done the chavs
Can't really add too much to that but you are toilet and Barcelona are now quaking in their boots.Make no mistake,as much as Arsenal did not want to face Barcelona in the next round of the Champions League,Barcelona did not want Arsenal,lets have it,barca are running scared
It was nice to see Colin Hewitt tonight and the young Mr Tim Dickens,top night

Yet Again,No Football

Ventured over to the Stadium this morning to see what the pitch was like,on arrival it was obvious there wouldn't be a game today which was a shame as it would of been a bumper crowd for the visit of local rivals Aveley,what with the other games in our league locally being postponed.
We cleared the pathways anyway but the pitch was rock hard and would of been a serious injury risk to the players.It is now nearly 6 weeks since our last home game and we have now only had 1 game in 5 weeks,i seriously need a football fix although i will be going down the pub later to hopefully watch Arsenal smash the Chavs all around the Emirates tonight.I am sure my little princess wants the gunners to win as well,seeing as she is all dressed for the occasion

Yesterday we popped down to Brighton to see my sister,nephew and brother in law.Nick as usually put a top class spread on and although i took my bins & scope down there on the off chance of getting some sea watching in and to see the Starling Roost on the old pier,i didn't get a chance.
On the way down there we stopped in the services for half an hour where i had a lovely buzzard overhead and a coal tit in the service car park.Coming into brighton on the A23 3 buzzard were circling overhead and a flock of around 100 fieldfare was a nice surprise over the junction of A23 /A27.We were quite fortunate to actually get there as i keep having problems with a breather pipe on my car and although it was fixed 2 months ago it keeps splitting,so although i lost power a couple of times on the M23,i patched it up and we made it down there,after some repairs in Brighton i managed to get back ok.
This afternoon me and Isla are off out for the Afternoon as we are leaving mummy to clear up all Islas mess from the presents,not sure where we are going,we may go and see Granny,who bought her the Arsenal Shirt and we may pop over to Belhus to watch the Marsh tit(s).
Today on the Feeders we have had

That bastard Squirrel
4 blue tits
6 great tits
8 blackbirds
collared dove
3 redwing
38 fieldfare over the house
No Waxwings,they have obviously found another apple tree to eat from so sod them!!!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

No Birding please it's Christmas

Haven't been birding today for obvious reasons,well that's a slight lie as i popped over to mayesbrook park in Barking earlier as it's next to Alices aunts,where we had our Christmas dinner.Only popped over there for twenty minutes or so but managed to see a few birds.I actually only popped over there to try to clear my headache and have a sneaky fag but managed to get a few sneaky birds as well
At the side of the park is a small stream,more a brook and immediately i latched on to a grey wagtail,also had 2 moorhen and 4 mallard.A grey heron was a bit further upstream.In the snow covered grass were plenty of crows and gulls including two common gulls overhead.
Then back to Alices aunties for our slap up Xmas dinner,which 4 hours later i am still stuffed from.
After dinner I had to go back to upminster to take my mum and dad to their 90 quid lunch !!!
On the way back i had 3 red legged partridge in the fields near the paddock and a bullfinch in the bushes next to the paddock,a kestrel was overhead and as i pulled up at my flat to get some more supplies a sparrowhawk swooped behind some bushes and came back out with what looked like a chaffinch,a good day so far,off to see my sister,brother in law and nephew Jake the jakester.

Merry Christmas

Morning everyone,firstly i would like to wish all my friends & family a happy christmas and to everyone who follows my blog,merry christmas to you too.If any of you are travelling to see relatives today,drive safely.
I was awoken by my girlfriend Alice at 7.30 this morning who was more excited than little Isla,which isn't really surprising as the nipper is only 9 months old and was more excited about eating the wrapping paper off the presents.As soon as i know how to do it,i will post a video of Isla opening her presents,i must warn you though that i sound like a bit of a plonker in the video and i am seen turning round every few seconds to see if the Waxwings have arrived on the Apple Tree yet??
As for the Waxwings,they arrived just after 8 and although they are not currently in the Apple Tree they have been on and off since i got up,all four of them.
This morning,we have also had 3 Redwing,5 Chaffinch,2 Fieldfare,6 blue tit,3 great tit,12 blackbirds
2 Collared dove,4 wood pigeon,2 magpies,1 wren,2 dunnock,1 house sparrow a great spotted Woodpecker,robin and a carrion crow.
We are off to Alices aunts for lunch,then i am coming home to pick my mum and dad up around 3.30pm to take them for their christmas lunch at the Berwick,which is costing them £90per person.e have more money than sense,not my dad,he just doesn't have any sense lol.I may have a sneaky half hour or so over berwick ponds but don't tell the missus.
The nipper is currently opening yet more presents,many of them noisy ones that will no doubt cause me yet more headaches like the one i am currently suffering with,which is annoying as i didn't even drink last night!!!

My little Princess banging one of her new toys

Friday, 24 December 2010

My Waxwing Paradise

The day started very early indeed as i had to go to buy some meat from smithfields meat market(always best to go to the best),so i got up at 5am and trundled off up there,got back around 7.30am and climbed back into bed for a while but the daughter made sure i couldn't get any sleep as she was constantly using me as a punchbag.I had promised myself NO BIRDING today as i was going to be busy,what with having to go to church this evening with the girlfriends family.Anyway,about 11.45am i was getting twitchy feet thinking about popping over the valley for an hour or so but decided to head for the kitchen,which proved to be the right decision.While checking the oven i noticed 2 redwing on the garage roof,i took my bins into Alice to show her but she didn't seem too bothered,back off to the kitchen i headed.Looking up in the apple tree i saw what i first thought were redwings but once i got my bins on them i realised they were in fact Waxwing,there were 6,suddenly Alice was interested!!!


I put the message out on various e mail groups and rang a couple of locals up including Stephen Staples,who will be providing me with Photographs of these wonderful birds.
Within an hour or so over 20 people had viewed the birds,albeit only 4 as 2 had disappeared and more people have been coming to look for them all afternoon,although i haven't seen them for a good half hour now,just a solitary Redwing feeding on the same Apples.I feel happy that so many people seemed happy to see the birds and rather selfishly i hope they stick around for a few more days.i shall never look at that Apple tree as useless for birds anymore.At one point they were actually on my roof,not so much a garden tick but a house tick........My Waxwing Paradise indeed.

One for the lads and any dykes out there!

Download photo.JPG (26.7 KB)

Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Crafty Urchin

Just got home from the Darts match between AFC Hornchurch & Dagenham & Redbridge,where we beat them 13-3,the missus even won her doubles match and nearly won her singles,if she could of hit double 3
It seems baby Isla is our lucky mascot as she was there for some of the evening and pictures may be in next weeks Romford Recorder as Hornchurch proudly regained the Tarkan Mustafa cup.
A Great curry was served up of which i am sure the majority there tonight will agree and maybe suffer from in the morning.
Not out birding tomorrow so may be quiet on here the next couple of days,then again something usually happens to me on the quiet days

A Bit parky

Decided to go down the road again to look for the Waxwings that were seen yesterday,got down there just after 8.30 but nothing,decided to drive down to the country park again after yesterdays birding nirvana.Arrived after 9 and decided to put an extra layer on,walked down to the fence overlooking the reserve and met jerry who i had not seen for a year or so and then another bloke called Rob who had a bad back and a tattoo of a tawny owl on his arm,i walked around with Rob up to the bridge and back but with the wind howling through me and the slush from yesterday turning to hard ice,i decided to call it a day just after 10 as the boots i had on were slipping all over the place.
Birds seen today included 5 cormorants,grey heron,4 snipe,20 plus teal,kestrel,g s woodpecker,green woodpecker,lots of tits & finches,18 redwing & 25 fieldfare.
I had a couple of jobs to do in my mums garden,so popped round there to help out as my dads about as much use as a pork pie at a barmitzva then off round alices mums to put up some lights on the front of the house,up a ladder,i hate ladders,especially 8 foot up.
Then it was off to Iceland (the frozen supermarket chain) to get some nibbles for the darts match tonight where we might not be having curry now as there might bit be anyone to cook it.On leaving Iceland Alice spotted a little old lady who seemed to be cold and confused and she was asking people for a lift but everyone just drove past,we picked her up and dropped her off in Cranham,good deed done for the day.
Then i popped back round to my mums and done a bit of garden watching,not too much in the way of numbers but a female blackcap,great spotted woodpecker and Coal tit were by far the highlight of the day.
Now i just have to get someone to cook a curry for tonight,any offers let me know.

Big Day Ahead

Its a big day today as we are only two days from xmas and 4 days from Hornchurch's next league game at home to Aveley,it will be one month and five days since we last played a home match,something that will of hurt the club financially and the game still may not go ahead due to the weather.Anyhow,we are down the club tonight as its the xmas special in our monthly darts match with the fans of Dagenham & Redbridge,namely middle and his boys.We call it the Tarkan Mustapha challenge cup as he is a footballer who has played for both clubs.Nipper will be coming down tonight to watch daddy play darts so i better be on top form for her.Mr Mcbride,our ex manager and now part owner of the football club is cooking us a curry and my missus is going to cook some tit bits.This morning however i shall be going birding once again,starting off by looking for those waxwings reported yesterday and then maybe the country park again,a full report to follow

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

No Cottaging please,we are English

After yesterdays hectic day with cottagers being found and a drunken girlfriend causing havoc,i decided to go to Hornchurch Country Park,which is towards the southern end of the valley to look for Bittern,Marsh Harriers and waxwing amongst other things,after running a few unexpected errands beforehand,i arrived at the valley around 11am.While sitting in the car a Grey Heron flew over and then 4 fieldfare and a single Redwing,a good start.From the Car Park i ventured over to the other side of the new playground and had a scan across the valley.There was plenty of Moorhen,around 20 teal and 6 snipe all in the long grass,over by the bank of the River was a Water Rail.Then from the corner of my eye i saw a large bird being chased by about 12 Magpies,my first impression was Marsh Harrier but after a second or so it became clear that it was a Bittern,they chased it all the way down the valley towards Hacton Lane until it was out of sight,i never saw it come back.Then my mate Kev rang me to say that he was out walking the dog by the bridge at Hacton Lane and was talking to 4 birders who were looking at Waxwings,typical,as i have been over that section the last few days and although i saw them on Saturday,i would of liked to see them again,but as i was already over the Country Park,i decided to stay there,hoping they would maybe come up river to where i was.I spent another few minutes looking in the long grass and a Bullfinch was seen in the bushes to the right of me.2 green woodpeckers were also seen and heard.I then went down to the viewing point overlooking the scrape.


Although the scrape was frozen and wildfowl numbers are down over the park compared to when its unfrozen,there was still plenty of action around the scrape,with a mixed flock of finches being seen,i checked for Brambling but to no avail,then 35 linnets landed in the bushes to the right of me.A Green woodpecker was heard and seemed to be spooked by something,then i saw that it was being chased by something although as it shot in some bushes i couldn't tell what it was.I stayed focussed on the bushes but felt sure that it had perished only for it to shoot back out again,being chased by a large female Sparrowhawk.Another Water Rail was seen on the river bank along with another few teal and moorhen.11 Canada geese flew over,which grabbed my attention from a distance as many wintering geese have been reported across the South.
I headed to the Bridge to see if anything was around there,14 siskin flew over as did 8 pied wagtails,36 lapwing and a reed bunting,i then got the call from the missus which meant time was of the essence as i had to do a bit of shopping in the farm shop on the way home,after agreeing a 2pm home time with her i decided to head up the hill to overlook the rest of the country park,hopefully a Marsh Harrier may show up,i had a male over berwick a week or so ago but i knew there was a female around as well and after about 20 minutes it duly obliged,beautiful bird.It gave me good views for a couple of minutes before heading down the valley.
I heard some action behind me in the form of about 20 long tailed tits,i also saw a goldcrest and another 4 siskin.With this i decided to head towards home,trying for the waxwing about 300 yards from my house.I got there just after 1 and spent about 40 minutes looking around the trees and bushes on the east side of the riverbank but to no avail.I am sure they were seen as kev would never of heard about a waxwing let alone see one,therefore they must of been there.I left there and parked the car up outside the house,when a little egret flew over the house towards where the waxwings were seen,then off to the local farm shop for some veg then home.We have just been visited by thomson who was delivering his cards & presents for the nipper.
cheers Andykins

Drunken Mother of my child

Last night i witnessed a complete embarrasment of a girlfriend,as Alice decided to come home completely trolleyed,throwing up and falling asleep in the bathroom among other things.As i have only drank once in about 12 weeks now i thought it was disgraceful behaviour.My little princess who is nearly 9 months old now,asked me to write this message to her mother,because she was shocked at her behaviour.


Anyway,i am off birdwatching again over the country park,to once again look for waxwings,bittern etc
Have fun with the hangover Alice and make plenty of noise my little Princess,i wouldn't mind but she got in before 7pm,donut!!!!!!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Big Little Thaw

After being lazy this morning,just watching birds on my feeders and surrounding area and a bit of shite daytime tv through my freeview box(i really need to get sky),i mustered up the energy to go for a spot of birding around 12 0 clock across the road into my local patch the Ingrebourne Valley,scene of my last few days birding.An interesting afternoon stroll which comprised of reported deer,a couple of wierdos in the bushes,some nice birding and a wet bottom,I will come to all that as i go on with my daily report lol.
Anyway,after getting safely across the road i decided to walk down towards the river to look for Goldcrest,which i had seen Sunday,i was a bit worried about these little birds as it has been cold the last couple of nights and small birds often suffer in harsh conditions but after a minute or so i came across a large tit flock in a small oak and in with them was goldcrest,although i think it was a different individual from the other day,even if it was only a few feet from where i saw it sunday.Other birds in the tree were around 8 blue tits and at least 10 great tits,a redwing was in the tree adjacent to the small oak as was a Jay.I decided to go down to the River and as i arrived a Grey Heron took off (sorry Mr H),across from the river is some grass near a play park for kids and on the edge are some tall trees,2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were about 20ft apart in different trees about 50ft up,i believe Tawny Owl have been heard from here,perhaps the one from last night.Back to the River,i decided to walk back up to the Hacton Lane Bridge to see if anything was around,there was 2 moorhen,a water rail and a Grey wagtail on the river.

After this i decided to go up to where i saw the Waxwings on Sunday,no such luck up that way so decided to head for the farmland behind it,there is an oak tree there so i set up there for a little while as it looked like it could snow,as soon as i had my scope up a flock of around 20 long tailed tits flew into the tree giving me views of the birds up to 1 metre away,they were that close,with them were around 6 blue tit and a couple of great tits,then at the top of the tree i hear Goldcrest again,but not one this time,there were two.They whizzed around the tree for around 5 minutes,obviously not bothered by me before dissapearing back into the woods.
I then realised that i had to pick the nipper up from my mums so headed off back to the house about 15-20 minutes away but the birding action wasn't over as i had a stunning male brambling and then the strangest thing happened as a middle aged bloke appeared out of the bushes doing his flies up,fine i thought,obviously been for a quick slash,but then behind him was another bloke about the same age,putting his old chap back in his trousers,these blokes are cottagers,my local patch is now a local cottaging site,no wonder they looked a bit shocked and shot back in the bushes,one of them definatly looked like Harry Redknapp lol.
Somewhat shocked i carried on back home to then be confronted by a dog walker who claimed that his boxer had just chased a muntjac into the woods,i have seen the odd one around,i then suggested that if his dog was hungry,there were a couple of benders in the woods with their tackle out.
One last bird was a cracking mistle thrush,pretty scarce compared to when i was a kid and always nice to see.One last incident was me falling in a ditch and coming out with a soaked arris which i got funny looks from the people in the pub as i walked past it.Just another quiet day on the valley.Am now at home with the Princess watching a bit of telly as mummy is out on the lash this aftenoon.More tomorrow now doubt as the days are now getting longer,happy days indeed

Monday, 20 December 2010

A Good night made even better by a nice bird

And the nice bird not being the missus,although she is nice lol
Shame to see moneybags City getting done by those crafty scouse gits Everton,just goes to show,with all the money in the world you can't always buy success,especially with tossers like Gareth Barry in your team,and not forgetting that twat Adebayor,didn't get to watch all the game as i had the daughter climbing all over me,here's a picture of me and her before i woke her up for her dinner...


She's a little cracker,i do love the little princess.She is currently causing aggro in the front room with her mother when she should be fast asleep,keep hearing her calling da da da da da da,don't think she has a clue what she is saying but it sounds ok to me.Anyway,after the football,i went downstairs for a cheeky fag (got to give up soon) and while standing in the snowstorm that is currently raging outside i could hear a Tawny Owl,it must be coming from one of the Large oak trees a hundred or so yards away,don't think i would of heard it had the wind been in the other direction.Can't really understand what the poor devil is doing out in this weather,i strongly recomend he pops back inside his tree and gets his head down for the night,anyway,i am off as i have a couple of chicken legs for the local foxes before they starve,sleep and then loking for bitterns tomorrow over the ingrebourne....

Marsh Tit in the Woods!

Hello again,decided to finally go to Belhus Woods Country Park to look for the reported Marsh tits (2) that have been regular for the last couple of weeks or so.Marsh Tit is quite a scarce visitor in this area,i last had one about 6 or 7 years ago close by and i know another has been reported recently at Grangewaters but apart from that this area is not a stronghold for this species,so i thought i would go and tick this list off my local list,saying that the list is just in my head as i have neglected it this year due to not going birding enough and not always filling in my logbook or on my pc.Anyhow,i know i haven't seen one round here for a few years.I pulled up about 9am and hoped to see the bird by the feeders where they have been reported very quickly so i could then get down to the Stone Barges at rainham to look for the Ring Ouzel.After 20 minutes or so there was still no sign of the Marsh Tit so i thought i would go for a stroll around the woods on the off chance i may hear or see them.
A quick stroll around the woods produced 2 lesser redpoll,a treecreeper,plenty of greenfinch,chaffinch,blue & great tits as well as both Great Spotted & Green woodpecker,a flock of around 20 siskins was nice as was 2 nuthatch very close to the visitors centre on the way back,i decided to give the feeders one last try and as soon as i got there i was rewarded with the Marsh Tit,i believe it was only one bird but not 100% sure as it seemed to be very busy and could possibly of been two birds.I was talking to someone who was over there doing some photography and was trying to get him to take some shots but he didn't seem too interested as he was more into landscapes than wildlife photography,although he did say he was interested in taking pictures of waxwings,so i told him a few decent places as he was going to go to stortford to photograph some,nice bit of nikon though,about 6 grands worth.
From Belhus i shot down to the Stone Barges at Rainham,or at least that was the plan,the road leading up to the car park was very slippery and i couldnt get up the slight hill at the end in my crap BMW,then reversing back down i managed to get stuck in a bit of a rut and it took me 10 minutes to get out.So i decided to go round to Coldharbour lane and have a look at Aveley Bay but the tide was in,probably best to have checked before hand as i was sliding all over coldharbour lane in my crap BMW.From there i went back to the car park by the road leading up to where i had been stuck,as i was pulling up to the car park i saw what appeared to be a Ring Ouzel on the wire fence,i was pretty sure it was as the bird has been reported in the area for a while now,as i pulled up there was already someone there (johnathan ledbridge aka jono)who said he had seen what he believed to be a ring ouzel on the same fence,we both agreed that it was a ring ouzel but carried on looking as we wanted to get better views of the bird.After a while jono went and i gave myself half hour to find it before going off to tescos to get the babies nappies,which is why i originally went out this morning :) .After about 15 minutes,the bird re appeared,this time for 15-20 seconds and i could positively identify the bird,which is a year bird for me!!.Other species seen were good numbers of redwing,quite a few fieldfare,blackbirds,pipits,a kestrel and a snipe.A quick scan on the reservoir opposite berwick glades and the paddock on the way home produced nothing but a heron and a kestrel overhead.Off home to the missus and baby where i watched the garden birds for a while but only collared dove,blue tit and 2 dunnocks bothered visiting.Tomorrow sees the shortest day of the year,from then on all the days get longer which is only a good thing as far as birding goes,tomorrow also sees Hornchurch travelling to Concord Rangers on Canvey Island in the next round of the Essex Senior Cup,but i can't see it being on and this will be the 3rd time we have had the game called off,fingers crossed though as i could do with a game of footy to watch!!!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Brass monkeys

Coldest day yet,measured -3 at 1pm.COLD
Started the day by waking up on the Sofa at 6am,the missus and baby ended up staying at her mums because the roads were too icy for me to want to drive with Isla in the car,its not that i don't trust my own driving,its the other twats out there that i don't trust...
Went to pick them up at 10am to take them to church,dropped them off (i have no time for religion)and went to my mums to feed the cat as the parents are down in Brighton visiting the sister,hello ginger!!!.So i took the opportunity of an hours garden watch before going back to the church to pick my little family up,in the hour watching the garden i was treated to some cracking action with the following seen:- 1 Coal tit,1 female blackcap,6 blue tit,8 long tailed tit,great tit,redwing,bkackbird,jay,5x greenfinch,8 house sparrow,2 jay,chaffinch & collared dove.
Got home at around 12 and got ready for a walk over the Ingrebourne with my old mate smiles,who wanted to know what all this birdwatching lark was all about.......

After walking to the pond where smiles aka michael tarbuck, aka spam (to his mum) used to collect newts as a kid,he got a phone call from mummy and had to dash but he seemed quite keen and got to see nice views of a cormorant and some long tailed tits before leaving after 20 minutes.So i continued on my own,didn't really have a plan on where i was going,just decided to go with the flow,had a nice snipe coming over the woodland into the farmland and then a common buzzard was seen a way off,actually over my house,then headed off towards the parklands area,other birds seen around the farmland were 18 lapwing,1 redshank overhead,green woodpecker,4 jay,3 redwing and a pheasant,i also heard yellowhammer but couldn't see the bird.
From there i went back into the woodland and headed back towards my flat,before turning into some scrubland with plenty of bushes,straight away i heard goldcrest and after a fe seconds i located it,as soon as i had,i heard another one which was in a tit flock with around 12 long tailed tits,8 blue tits and the odd Great tit,i continued down a path which ended up going to the river ingrebourne,i walked along this,heading towards the country park,i had a heron and a water rail on this before i couldn't go any further,so decided to follow some footsteps in the snow,this was a big mistake although it ended up being a rewarding one.As the track ran out,i suddenly felt quite lost,usually i know the area quite well and its not exactly epping forest but it looks completely different in the snow and as i found out,not everywhere is as it seems,especially as i was walking through a harmless looking opening,only to end up going through ice and getting soaked up to my knee,my leg still hasn't recovered.I decided to get out so fought my way through the bushes and up the wooded hill back to the farmland,after a few minutes i was back on the edge of the woods,as i got there,i heard the sound i had been waiting for the last few days.....WAXWINGS,at first i thought there was only a couple but as i came out of the woods there was 10 in the tree next to me,watched them for a few seconds before they upped and went back towards hornchurch country park,haven't heard if anyone else has seen any today but they are about and 20 & 14 have been reported the last couple of days,just hope a few haven't been eaten by the large female Sparrowhawk i saw hunting on the edge of the woodland.I then got the phone call from the missus to find out where i was as i told her i was just popping over the road for a stroll for an hour or so,that was 3 hours before.All in all a cracking afternoon,if not a bit cold and if smiles had hung around he would of seen some cracking birds

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Part 3 of Saturdays Snow Fest

By 2.30pm i was completely bored sitting in front of the tele with no football apart from shite internet football ie Sunderland v Bolton so as it had more or less stopped snowing i decided to venture out across the road,as soon as i got out the front door it started again,but i decided to carry on as i am made of some seriously strong stuff.After walking for about 15 minutes i set up overlooking some farmland and some scrub behind me


It werent too cold but i made sure i was wrapped up warm

I look like a bit of a twat but a warm twat.
Anyway,for half hour and a blizzard smashing into me i saw pretty much zilch,nito,nowt,apart from a jackdaw,carrion crow and a solitary blue tit but then it cleared and i could actually see things,like my lense which kept getting wet.Overhead went 2 cormorants,then some greenfinch,then chaffinch,12 linnets then landed into a tree a bit further down the side of the field,a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew into the big oak tree and while i was getting my scope onto it i noticed a pair of eyes,no,not a flasher but a Little Owl,could be the same one i have seen sitting on my wall before but not sure,2 redwings then flew over.By now it was starting to get a little dark so i thought i would head back,hoping for a waxwing invassion in my lense but no such luck,although i did have a green woodpecker,6 fieldfare and good views of a fox,which i tried to get a picture of but by the time i fired my i phone up he had gone for a burton,or a rabbit.Final little flourish of birds happened just as i was about to come out of the scrub as a jay flew over and then 9 snipe headed north up the valley,not a bad afternoon in the end...

From my living room window

Hasn't been completely wasted today,have seen a fair bit from my living room window including two small crashes from dopey drivers (both women i must add) who simply don't know how to drive in the snow,at present we have a lady half way up the hill,stopping drivers to talk to them and they are then getting stuck as they can't get any grip to go back up the hill,i despair at some people.It has actually stopped snowing now and i am debating whether to go across the road for an hour or so,may just wait to watch the end of the Sunderland v Bolton match as its supposed to snow heavy again soon.
From my window,apart from the crashes,i have seen 4 blue tits,3 great tits,2 dunnock,2 robin,2 blackbirds kicking off in my garden,37 black headed gull,1 common gull over the valley,2 snipe over my house and a redwing.No waxwings yet,but still hoping i may bump into some soon.
Had this video sent to a birding group i am a member of,hope they don't mind if i put it on here....

By coincidence i have just eaten 2 Findus pancakes and i now really feel sorry for the Fox as they were bloody horrible


Bloody snow,got up bright and early this morning to take the future Mother In Law to the Butchers,it seemed a nice morning and although i wasn't too convinced that Hornchurch's Away game at table toppers Sutton United would go ahead,i was confident that i could at least get a bit of birding done before the forecast snow hit us.Dropped the missus and nipper round her mums then off to the footy club to find out the result of the pitch inspection,the result was that there was no pitch inspection as the referee couldn't get near the ground because of the snow,Result = no football today,shame it wasn't last Saturday,otherwise we may still be in the FA Trophy,but we are not!!.Anyhow,i came home and decided to go to Berwick Ponds for the third day running,so i get changed into some warmer clothing,3 jumpers,two pairs of socks,trousers,hats etc and step out the door to the car,a few spots of snow weren't going to put me off but by the time i pulled up at Berwick it was so thick it was settling on gritted road,decision time as per the clash,do i stay or do i go???.I go,otherwise run the risk of getting stuck in rainham,so no birding,or at least no getting out the car birding but i did notice to see a few bits to and from Berwick including 3 frozen moorhens,1 very frozen pheasant,2 blue tits who seemed happy enough and a heron over the pond.It turned out to be the right decision to leave as i have been home for 20 minutes and there is currently a blizzard outside that Captain Robert FALCON Scott (cracking name) didn't endure on his expeditions to and from Antartica,ok a little exageration there,but it is heavy out there.

If it stops at all,the wellingtons are coming out and i am going across the road into the scrub where there are berries and hopefully waxwings,siskins and anything else i may stumble across,please stop snowing as its Saturday,am bored and the feeders for the birds are only accessible from one side...

Where i want to go when it stops......if it stops.....

Friday, 17 December 2010

A Cold Crisp White Afternoon Birding

My original plan of going out birding at the break of dawn was scuppered somewhat by England managing to cock up their innings against the Aussies overnight,I thought i would wake up to see us 250-6 or something,not 180 odd all out,so i decided to watch us bowl to see if we could get a few wickets before close,we got 3 for the loss of around 100 which leaves the aussies as slight favourites but there is still a long way to go.I left isla with Granny at 10am and went home to get changed to go off birding,by the time i had got changed it was pelting down with snow,even though the forecast i was led to believe was for unbroken sunshine,twats.I decided to leave it a while and settled down to a bit of Michael Palin full circle,actually felt sorry for him travelling 55'000 miles around the pacific on bbc money only to not be able to reach his starting point again by 2 miles,shit happens i suppose.After that,and the snow stopping i was in the mood for a bit of birding so decided to go Berwick Ponds again to look for the Bittern

Got there at around 1.30pm and decided to walk the whole way round the lake,not too much around to start with,2 Great spotted woodpeckers,1 green woodpecker and a blue tit where all i really saw till i got round the other side to set my scope up.As soon as the scope was up i got onto 47 linnets across the pond,then 3 siskin flew to the tree next to them,a heron landed 20ft from me and it started to get interesting.From nowhere a Male Marsh Harrier shot out the reedbed and over towards berwick pond road and then a water rail was in the reeds 5ft from me.Happy with this i decided to call it a day and to go pick the nipper up,not unhappy with the afternoon but a little dissapointed not to get the Bittern,just getting up to the car and something grabbed my attention out the corner of my eye,A Bittern,about 40ft up in the air travelling towards the Ingrebourne,a sight i had not seen before,only ever seen them low flying in and out the reeds,made me wonder why i bothered walking around the lake,the Marsh Harrier reminded me why!!!
Not a bad Afternoon indeed,plus my mate Rumbo is back from Ibiza some point today which usually spells me getting into trouble with her indoors :)

Thursday, 16 December 2010

A Cold Wet Happy Afternoon in the rain

Popped over to Parklands lake around 1ish today,just to see if anything unexpected had turned up on the lake,nothing,so decided to have a little walk around the small areas of woods at either end.On the lake were 2 cormorants,Grey heron,plenty of mallard,coot and moorhen but nothing else.Bird of the day at Parklands was a firecrest in the car park which just narrowly beat a stunning male brambling which was the other end of the lake by the bridge,along with 24 ring necked parakeets.Other birds seen at Parklands were blue tits,great tits,chaffinch,greenfinch,blackbird,robin,3 wren,dunnock,2 jays,black headed gulls,2 green woodpeckers,1 great spotted woodpecker.Firecrest and Brambling are two birds i have never seen here before but saying that,i only pop over there probably 2 or 3 times a year so maybe others see them on a more regular basis.
I then crossed over the road into the Thames Chase Site,Bonnetts Wood which i bird a bit more frequently,the site has thrown up Barn,Tawny & little Owl for me before,as well as Woodcock (not Tony) and snipe but today i just had 15 Linnets,14 long tailed tits and 18 Lapwing in the adjacent fields.Other wildlife seen was a Stoat,3 rabbits and 2 foxes all pretty much minding their own business.I decided to call it a day at about 3pm as the rain was quite heavy so i got back into the car to drive the short journey home,in which time it stopped raining,so i swung a left hand turn at the white hart and decided to give Berwick Ponds a quick once over in the hope of seeing Bittern.
Berwick Ponds,Rainham
Just a bit of drizzle in the air when i arrived so decided to venture to the viewpoint overlooking the reedbeds,after about 20 minutes i heard the familiar PING of the Bearded Tit,but it took me a good 2 minutes or so in fading light to locate the bird,although i am pretty sure there was another,i couldnt locate it.Still,a cracking bird anyhow,also heard 3 cettis warblers,saw 3 green woodpeckers,Great spotted woodpecker,3 linnets,8 long tailed tits and a water rail just as i was leaving so a good afternoon in all,which could of been alot worse with the weather,no Bittern but may give it another go at first light tomorrow when i have more time.Am now going to settle down for the evening with a bit of Europa League footy on ITV4,Oh how i long for Sky Tv


Upto now i have been bemoaning the fact that Birds are simply not turning up on my feeders,well until today that is.Don't get me wrong,i see plenty from my window,given the proximity to the Farmland across the road and also the fact i am opposite the northern end of the Ingrebourne Valley (my local patch which i have neglected this year,due to the nipper taking up alot of my time),but the garden seems to lack birds most of the time.
Today is different,i have cleaned my feeders and re stocked them with sunflower seeds,fat balls,peanuts & suet cake and it seems to have paid off for now,although i wish cyril the squirrel would do one,is it illegal to catapult a grey squirrel to death,especially as they have killed off all the Red squirrels in England apart from a few isolated places(only joking if any animal rights nutters are looking in).Today i have had 8 blue tits,which beats my previous garden record of 2,2 Great tits,2 blackbirds,the usual trustworthy 2 dunnocks,a lovely collared dove,magpie,3 wood pigeons,1 robin and the bird of the day a great spotted woodpecker i have nicknamed tuohy after the hornchurch number 9 who is a poacher of the highest order.
The woodpecker is still in view as it is bombing around the trees in the optomist car park,other birds of note this morning,outside my garden,but in view have been 2 redwing,1 fieldfare,3 snipe from the valley and a Kestrel,i may have a small garden but i do get to see some decent birds from the living room window,Although it would be nice to see a finch or two on the Feeders.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


Sorry for the delay of over two months since i last posted anything,our pc has been buggered and i really can't be arsed to update a blog via my ultra slow i phone.
Anyway,since my last entry i haven't done too much birding,apart from an hour here or there locally and a trip down to devon with the family to watch the Hornchurch,where i got to do a bit of seawatching on the atlantic coast and also at northam burrows,near Bideford.Not too much of note to be honest but it was a nice weekend away and Isla enjoyed her first Hornchurch Away game,so did i,we won 3-0 in the FA Trophy at Bideford.
Onto Hornchurch,on my last visit here we got stuffed 7-1 over 2 months ago by Tonbridge Angels,i remember people laughing at me when i said we actually played well that day,well since that day we have been unbeaten in the league and our only loss came last saturday in the FA trophy away to Ashford Town of middx,we smashed them and lost 1-0 to a last minute goal.We are now 5th in the League and are away to league leaders Sutton United,to which i will once again be leading the singing at Gander Green Lane,where i hope we can nick all 3 points as they are currently 8 points ahead of us.
Back to birds and updating this blog,which i hope to do at least a couple of times a week,today i saw a Grey Phalarope,which is a life bird for me,a life bird for those not in the know is a bird you have never seen before,it is also a year bird (a bird i havent seen this year).Also seen today was 12 eider ducks on the thames at the grays waterfront,next to the Wharf pub,the Eiders were another year tick for me,bringing my total up to 205 for the year,not too bad considering i havent been out too much at all,next year will be more,i hope.
Other birds seen at grays were 4 turnstones,redshank,dunlin,Black tailed godwits,cormorants,mallards,wigeon,teal and a waxwing(heard only)
May pop back there tomorrow or try somewhere different