Serin,Isla's middle name...

Serin,Isla's middle name...

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The Guns Of Upminster

Popped out first thing to Belhus woods CP,just to see if i could add to the year list in the hour i had before i had to pop into Hornchurch on an errand.I managed one new species for the Year,a male Lesser spotted Woodpecker.On top of that i had 1 marsh tit on the feeder in the visitor centre,2 nuthatch,treecreeper,coal tit and a mistle thrush as well as the usual finches.Had hoped for some redpolls which are on site but given the fact i only walked around 500 yards in total i didn't have much chance,will probably get back there tomorrow.
After i had been to Hornchurch i decided to come back and have my first wander over the Valley this year,my local patch.
I crossed the road into the bushes and was immediatly rewarded with a Goldcrest and then a Song Thrush ,Both new birds for the Year for me.I decided to go round the edge of the woodlands and onto the farmland.In the distance i could hear alot of shooting,not sure what they were shooting but it was definatly having an effect on the birds i could see,many were taking off at the slightest noise.4 Rooks & 8 Stock dove in the first field near me were good birds for that field which apart from the usual Lapwings is usually pretty bare.Into the second field which ends up meeting the woodland area that runs up from the hospital.I had 5 redwing & 4 fieldfare straight away and many tits & finches in the trees as well as Great Spotted Woodpecker.Into the woods and with a tit flock were 8 long tailed tits & another 2 goldcrest.I then ventured out on to the PUBLIC FOOTPATH and scanned the fields but nothing,absolutely dead apart from one Skylark.I carried on then stopped at a junction with another track and looked up to see a Buzzard being mobbed by 8 crows.BANG...AND ANOTHER BANG....i was being shot at,or at least thats what it felt like.Seems like the farmers there don't realise a public footpath is for the public.A quick middle finger and a jog behind the hedge and i was off again,every now and then turning round to make sure i wasn't being shot at.I carried on along the PUBLIC FOOTPATH but it was dead,just one robin.I didn't expect it to be busy with birds but in recent years i have at least had the odd yellowhammer,corn bunting,partridge this time of year but with trigger crazy farmers around its no wonder there are no birds left.
After leaving the PUBLIC FOOTPATH i ended up in Berwick Glades,again nothing but the odd woodpecker,gull or mute swan flying over.I then travelled down to Hornchurch Country Park where i had a Bullfinch just before the Bridge,a little Egret on the pool to the right of the bridge and i saw a cettis warbler and heard 2 more (all 3 year birds for me).The Sun was coming out now but it was becoming very hazy,i made my way up to the little hill to scan the valley,on the way there i had a Male Brambling on the junction of the two paths,up the hill i set up the scope and almost straight away was on a Male Marsh Harrier.I kept losing the bird as i got talking to a few people,one a nice chinese lady who wanted to know what the heron was and another bloke who had lost his dog.I am sure the lady was chinese but she may of been Korean,if so the bloke may have lost his dog forever.
On scanning the fields another loud gunshot went off from the other side of the river,about 80 teal a few shoveler and mallards all went up and never came down again,obviously as pissed off with the shooting as i am.On this note i decided to leave and go to the Berwick Glades Car Park where Alices mum was picking me up as i hurt my leg when the farmer first shot a loud one in my direction.On the way back i had 35 linnets & 8 long tailed tits.I scanned the reservoir/fishing lake at the back but it was still frozen with around 80 lapwing and plenty of Black headed gulls on it.
Tonight i am at the Bridge to watch the eagerly awaited Havering Derby between AFC Hornchurch & romford(groundsharing squatting pikeys as the are also known),the game is a friendly but i have just informed the Hornchurch Chairman that defeat is not an option and i will not be happy until we have demolished them and sent them back to where they are currently squatting.

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