Serin,Isla's middle name...

Serin,Isla's middle name...

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Not an Owl in Sight.

Had two shifts over the Ingrebourne Valley today,the first i went to the Berwick ponds end to look for Bittern,i have also seen Little Owl that end as well in the past.I parked up and put on me trusted wellies as we have had a bit of rain the last couple of days and it looked a bit wet.I went onto the pond,which is in fact a large reedbed area a good 3 or 4 acres in size and produces birds such as Bittern,Marsh Harrier,Bearded tits,kingfisher,grebes etc.Today it produced none of these,although i did get some Teal,Shoveler,pochard etc from another pool out the back,i also had some Mute Swans on the Main pool.I decided to go for a walk which wasn't really my intention as i only had a short amount of time.I headed up to the side of the Valley where you are in an elevated position and decided to look over the Country Park(above).The valley was flooded as the river had burst its banks but there was very little activity on the flooded land,just the odd moorhen,coot and teal where in winters gone past there has been much more in the way of wildfowl,i hung around scanning the Valley for about half an hour hoping to see a wandering Harrier,Owl or Bittern but nothing.I decided to have a walk through the scrubland and trees and on doing so was nearly run into by a fox which came across my track without seeing me,as soon as he did he was off,then i flushed 6 Pheasant from the bushes,i took a walk up to the path which leads to the Bridge over the Ingrebourne and looked around in the Horse Paddock but once again nothing.I had to be back home to take Alice and the Nipper to their friends for the Afternoon so decided to call it a day(or Morning) and headed off back to the car,i got to the car and realised i still had 40 or so minutes till i said i would be home so decided to head to the Field with the horses on Berwick ponds road which is still part of the Ingrebourne Valley.On arriving there was a flock of around 400 starlings whirling around the field and another smaller flock of 80-100 Fieldfare.There was also around 40 Stock doves and 6 Rook,12 Pied Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail went over towards the Valley.
I dropped Alice and nipper round to her friends at Elm Park and decided to go back over to the Valley,this time the Hornchurch Country Park side
On arriving at the park i saw a kestrel hovering over the kids swings but to be honest this was about as good as it was going to get,i scanned the flooded meadows from the other side(above) and aprt from a small amount of Teal,the odd Shoveler and a Water Rail there wasn't much happening,a few chaffinch & greenfinch were around as the usual flocks of tits,i moved further down to the viewing platform but once again nothing apart from 2 Mute Swans,i then decided to move onto the Hill to scan the area i had scanned in the morning,i was there for an hour and can honestly say i saw nothing apart from the usual stuff and 8 Long Tailed tits behind me,i called it a day around 4pm and went to pick Alice and the Nipper up.Not sure where i am off to tomorrow,think i am out with the nipper and the baby but i am sure a bit of birding will be on the cards.                                                                       

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