Serin,Isla's middle name...

Serin,Isla's middle name...

Monday, 17 January 2011

Bloody Computers

My computer is experiencing difficulties with the most trivial of tasks,which is why i have not posted anything on here since Thursday,but don't think it's been quiet as that is certainly not the case.
Starting on Friday and overnight there were reports of a Slaty Backed Gull at Rainham discovered late on Thursday i believe by Dominic Mitchell who i met briefly when i saw the Grey Phalarope back in December,a belated thanks for that one and for this.
Slaty Backed Gulls are from Asia,i believe Japan to be one of their hotspots,i am not a gull person to be honest and i would never picked up such a bird so hats off to anyone with the patience to do so,it certainly has caused quite a stir with debates on Birdforum reaching nutters proportion,there really are some nutters out there who go birding or more so twitching,although i am pleased to say not everyone is the same.
Anyway,i started the day at home and while on the phone to Alices mum and holding the baby in my other arm i noticed at least 6 Waxwings in the Apple tree at the bottom of the garden,within a second or two a couple of psycho Magpies with double attitude had come down and frightened them off,naughty,naughty very naughty.Since then 25-32 have been seen in Sainsburys Car park in Hornchurch with all sorts of puns about collecting treble nectar points.Anyway,off to Rainham i decided to go,i originally wasn't that bothered about the Slaty backed Gull as i have said i am not a gull person,it all gets too confusing for me but i decided to head down to that area anyway to see if anything was around.I managed to get the Little Owl that Shaun Harvey had told me about in Launders Lane,cheers Shaun.I then proceeded to coldharbour lane where reports were coming in that it had been seen,i saw all the Twitchers there but carried on driving past as there didn't look like being too much going on to be honest,i parked up half a mile or so near Aveley bay and after 20 minutes or so of scanning the Thames with nothing of note,i bumped into a poor lost soul who couldn't find the crowds for the Slaty Backed,i said i would give him a lift and as soon as we got there we were rewarded with magnificent views of the bird and the crowd was only about 40-50 birders,on Saturday well over a thousand turned up.The arguements continue to rage on Birdforum about is it or isn't it a Slaty Back but most of the people in the know seem to think it is so i am ticking the bugger until told otherwise,since then i have been reading up on gulls so i may just make a gullet yet,certainly alot more interested in them now than i was before.
Saturday,Me and Graham Thomlinson (father of AFC Hornchurch legend Andy Thomlinson) met up about 11am at Brentwood with no definate plan of where to go,my plan had been to go to Upminster common early in the morning and then on to meet Graham but that plan was scuppered with me feeling like shite due to a heavy cold but i couldn't sit indoors all day so i decided i should still go out for at least the afternoon as AFC Hornchurch were not playing till the Sunday.We decided on East Mersea and off to Cudmore grove we went,probably not the best choice seeing as soon as we arrived we was struggling to stay on our feet with gusts in excess of 30 mph probably higher,we walked to stone point and set up there for a while with views of an Eider duck being the only thing near enough to get our scopes on in the Blackwater.We checked the flats and there were good numbers of Dunlin,curlew,oystercatchers and redshank,along with a Purple Sandpiper which is a year bird for me,there were about 30 Brent Geese in the field next to us but nothing to compare to Old Hall last week,we had a few flying in off the sea as well,probably about 250 birds seen in total.We then decided to move out of the wind behind a bank right next to the water,this turned out to be a good idea as over the next couple of hours we had 2 Slavonian grebes,at least 2 Red Throated Divers a Hen harrier way out and just before we left 2 Red Brested Mergansers,there were probably more but it was so hard trying to keep focused we just settled for what we had and with the weather as it was it wasn't a bad haul.We walked back to the car getting another 50-60 golden plovers and Sanderling.
We left the Island and decided,even though the light was going to be fading soon to go to look for the Hawfinch we had seen briefly last week but after 20 minutes or so there was no sign neither of the red kite either.The only other plus note for Saturday was that Arsenal spanked West ham to give me local bragging rights although on seeing the game the opposition really isn't up to much.
Sunday-Alices 23rd Birthday!!!
I took her to Rainham Marshes for her Birthday :)
In all fairness she loves the place so i agreed to go with her,sheerly to support her on her big day,so off we trudged.In all fairness it was pretty quiet on the reserve,by the time we got to the New hide most of the waders i had spotted earlier from the northern boardwalk had dispersed,golden plover,redshank,black tailed godwits etc,we got into the hide and straight away locked on to two very odd looking geese,it turns out they are Greylag Geese with white fronts but i thought they were a hybrid,certainly had a few of us stumped for a few minutes,a sparrowhawk landed on a post directly in front of the hide then underneath and back round.The only other bird of note was a Ruff on the Target pools,apart from this it was quite quiet and i didn't get to look around properly as alice was now tired and wanted her din dins,so off we went round to Alices parents for dinner which consisted of Coq Au Reisling(dunno if this is how it was spelt but felt alright in my large belly)its now early afternoon Monday and only just stopped raining and i still have a cold but may sneak out for an hour or twos birding in a little while,and AFC Hornchurch won 2-1 away at Cray Wanderers yesterday to get our promotion push back on track,all our rivals drew so happy days indeed.

No comments:

Post a Comment