Serin,Isla's middle name...

Serin,Isla's middle name...

Monday, 17 January 2011

Just a Quickie

It finally stopped raining here in dreary Upminster around 2pm by which time i just had to get out,i am not one of those who can sit indoors all day unless i am watching footy or Test Match Cricket so i though i would have a couple of hours down at Bonnetts Wood this afternoon,hoping for Owls and a Kingfisher.
I must say,that although i hope for Owls i very rarely see any,apart from Little Owls which are quite common,well as common as they could be round here.I hear Tawny Owls around here but they are a bird you don't often see.I haven't seen Barn Owl around here for 7-8 months now and that was just a very brief glimpse and before that it was a year or so since my last sighting.Both sightings have been in or around Bonnetts Wood,there is a refuse tip next door and i saw 2 fly from Bonnetts over the tip where we lost them,the Ingrebourne Valley has the odd report of Barn Owl as does Rainham although i did hear that one bird which was a regular broke a wing a while back and was unable to fly so i would assume it perished,sad as i love Owls.
On arriving at Bonnetts one thing stood out,the amount of water around,i knew we had had alot of rain the last week since my last visit but didn't expect everywhere to be flooded,the long grass which is usually damp soggy ground in the winter with tufts of grass and often holds snipe and woodcock was like a lake and the little brook which runs from parklands was like a small river,still didn't get the Kingfisher though.

I set up overlooking the Farmland hoping to see quite a bit before setting down at the south end of the area to laterly look for owls,on the farmland i had 4 red legged partridges,10 down on last week!! A green Woodpecker was back and forth in the area and a Kestrel was hovering over the farm to the north.Apart from the odd greenfinch,chaffinch and tits that was it apart from a cettis warbler i heard in the distance.2 Mute Swans flew west as i was about to leave and go to the other end.I set up about 3.50pm but by now my feet were getting cold inside my wellies,i found a new way to keep them warm,stand in water,it worked,after 5 minutes my feet weren't cold,i just couldn't feel anything!!!
I then got talking to a bloke walking his dog who lived on the same road(gerpins lane),he asked what i was looking for so i told him,he said he often gets Barn Owls in his garden and on xmas eve he said he also had a Little Owl,he said he doesn't see the Barn Owl that often,about once or twice a week!!!
That would do for me,so i stood there for another hour before deciding that i wasn't going to see bugger all today and headed off home,i left bonnetts wood and travelled back home past Parklands,while coming round the bend something to the left of me(over the farmland i look out to from Bonnetts) flew behind some bushes,it was white but due to the light that is all i saw,not even a second had passed,i don't know if it was a Barn Owl or a gull but i have a hunch it was the former but i will find it soon,maybe tomorrow,maybe another quickie trip to Bonnetts,as for tomorrow,i haven't worked out where i will be birding,it is supposed to be a reasonably nice day but money is tight so i might just have to stay local,should be starting work again in a few weeks so need to get as much birding done as possible before then.

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