Serin,Isla's middle name...

Serin,Isla's middle name...

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Redpolls Galore

A quite quiet day today compared to yesterday,no gunshots and no psycho dog walking ladies.I started off the day at Belhus Woods Country Park and ended it at Belhus woods Country Park,7 hours of Birdwatching,kerching.Only 3 new species today (possibly 4) but a good walk with good company and a bit of time in the Afternoon on my own getting lost in woods just before dark.
I started in the main car park where i bumped into another birder (his name escapes me but i have seen him on certain birding sites before).We spent the first hour or so looking for the Marsh Tits until we were finally rewarded,the wind was quite strong today compared to previous days and it seemed to have an effect on some of the birds with numbers well down on previous days.In the Woods we also latched onto 3 Goldcrest and 10 siskin.We then bumped into Malcolm who i know from Rainham Marsh RSPB as he works there as a volunteer and i have spent a few hours with him before at certain reserves,he also Supports Aveley who are in the same league as the Mighty Hornchurch,remember them??? They lost to Romford last night :(
Malcolm told us about the Smew that was reported yesterday,he had it Boxing day but i have not seen it but me and the other birder decided to head up to the Scrape to see if it was up there.we scanned the Scrape and while there was plenty of Wigeon,teal,shoveler,mallard,geese etc there was no sign of the Smew.We walked round and at one point flushed a Woodcock from the Long grass.We carried on around the scrape but no sign and decided to head back to the car park as the other bloke had to dash off.Once again we bumped into Malcolm and chatted for a while.Malcolm was going to pretty much check all the other lakes so i decided to go with him,over the next couple of hours we saw many birds including the Red Crested Pochard i saw on Monday and many other water birds but still no Smew or Redpoll.
We bothe went back to the Car park as i wanted to head home for something to eat and malcolm was going to rainham for the Afternoon,birding.I left and ventured into Aveley as i quite fancied walking round Belhus again looking for the Redpolls,so got a sausage & chips at the chippy then headed back.
I pulled back into the car park right next to the feeding station and straight away had Marsh tit & Nuthatch on the feeders,i am starting to wonder if there are more than 2 Marsh tit at Belhus as quite a few other birders have said they have had Marsh tit recently in other areas of the park and a few of the records seem to overlap when there are already 2 birds reported at the feeing station.Anyway,i ventured to the lakes,stopping breifly to look at a great spotted Woodpecker through the scope.Arriving at the back lake i heard 4 siskin in the Alder trees and then heard Redpolls,i had good views of them in the Alder trees and 15 were Lesser Redpolls but one was very pale and looked like a Mealy but i am not too confident of the ID as its not a bird i am over familiar with although it sort of looked out of place in the scope with the other birds.
By now it was starting to get dark so i ventured back into the woodland for what i thought would be a 5 minute walk back to the car park,i went that way just in case there was any Owls that had decided to come out to play a bit early (not actually sure how many tawny owls are in the woods,some said upto 5 pairs but that seems alot for a small woodland,someone else said it would be lucky if there are 1 pair!).
In the end after half an hour i finally made my way back to the car in time to beat the car park being locked.

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