Serin,Isla's middle name...

Serin,Isla's middle name...

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Spot the Bittern

Sorry i haven't been on here the last couple of days,have had a bad tooth,went to the dentist on Monday to have an X ray on it as it had been causing me all sorts of problems and still is,the result is that i have to have one tooth taken out although until i get there they are not too sure whether its my wisdom tooth that needs to come out or the one next to it,no wonder the NHS gets such a bad name,clueless is the word.
Although the pain was quite bad on Monday morning,the invention of cocodimol has somewhat made life easier and not restricted me too much.I went over Bonnetts Wood early on Monday,in fact at 6.30am as my tooth woke me up,as it didn't start to get remotely light until about 7.30 i spent an hour wandering around in the dark looking or hearing what was about,not too much to be honest,certainly no signs of anything untowards,this changed somewhat once it got light as at about 9am i had a Female Merlin fly over the site on its way to Ingrebourne or at least in that direction.Other birds i saw that morning were Green & great Spotted Woodpecker,Greylag & canada goose flying over,4 Rooks,3 Pheasant,2 Red Legged Partridge,22 Cormorants heading towards Parklands in dribs & drabs a massive number for parklands,only usually see 4 or 5 over there,12 fieldfare,8 Redwing and 48 Stock dove in the field.As i was leaving i had a Goldcrest by the Car park and a Kestrel over head.I went back again about 3pm for a couple of hours where i had 42 Parakeets,another site record for me,the most i have had is 27 before,also 42 Fieldfare and a male sparrowhawk.
Tuesday....One other thing though,i took this picture below on Monday,I know Upminster has some good schooling but i didn't know we had intelligent Horses who can read signs!!!
I went on another Boozybirders trip to Dungeness and the surrounding areas led by Birding Guru Howard Vaughan,we set off at 6.15am and headed down to Dunge picking up Howard en route,we arrived just before 8am at the ARC pit car park,the same place where we actually finished the day.En route to the Car park we had 8 Whooper Swans and approx 53 Bewicks in the fields just before the car park.After we all met we went down to dungeness,near the lighthouse to do a bit of seawatching,we could of stayed there all day such was the action,it was unbelievable and something i have never seen before on that stretch of the coast.As soon as we arrived we were rewarded with views of a Female Merlin flying across the Shingle,then about 20 Red Throated Diver went south.As we approached the beach we could see hundreds if not thousands of auks stretching as far as the eye could see,guillemots & razorbills,i have only ever seen large numbers like that in northunberland when i was a youngster so to see that many birds was totally amazing,everywhere we scanned there were more and more,there were also many Gannets & a few Kittewake which just added to the experience.We watched them for half hour or so before driving to Dymchurch to look for reported Northern Long tailed tits,for you non birders,Northern Long tailed tits are not beer drinking,wife beating long tailed tits but the same as our Long Tailed tits but have full white heads where ours have a white streak instead,on the way there we stopped to look at the bewicks again and also had 3 Marsh harriers.We got to Dymchurch and couldn't find them so headed back to the car,as we did Howard spotted one in a tree and we all just about managed to get onto it,another 10 minute of the area couldn't relocate the birds so we decided to call it a day and head to Dunge.We arrived at dungeness in search of the Glossy Ibis but once on the sight we were told it hadn't been seen for a week or so,shame but thats the way it is with birding and i have seen enough this year already.We pulled into the car park and most of us headed to the loo as it had been a long morning,i say most of us headed to the loo but this was in fact because the loo was near the feeder where tree sparrow had been seen and we all managed to get it without too much problem.After Lunch we headed around Dungeness where the first bird we had was a Smew from the hide,as well as Goldeneye and the usual ducks.Next was a Beautiful Slavonian Grebe which certainly caught the eye of Tony who went back later to get more shots of the bird,i am sure a beautiful relationship is on the cards!!!,we left and went to another chance which had smew and a few golden birders who had been looking for black head grebes???.As we left and walked we saw a large bird out towards some Pylons,it was a Raven,a quality bird for the day and one you wouldn't of seen in that area 10 years ago,but we did yesterday,we also had 2 peregrines to add to our impressive list.
Next we headed to another hide where Black necked grebe had been seen,we got it with no problem,another magnificent bird,we stayed viewing the pit for a while before leaving and continuing the circuit.We then had a lovely Male Marsh Harrier and decided to view it from a raised bit of land,as soon as we got up there i found a bittern which i was a bit slow in calling as i wasn't sure if it was a bittern or marsh harrier to start with,but seconds later another bittern flew out the reeds and i called it straight away lol
We walked back to the car park now all content but still hoping for maybe a dartford Warbler but no such luck although we did hear a Song Thrush who was trying to sing but probably just felt a bit too cold to come out with his full repertoir.Next to the ARC Pits,we had some redhead smew(female) and Goldeneye but we had come to see A Drake Smew,in fact we saw 2 and i found them both,well chuffed as its nice to pick birds up when going on a trip with experienced birders,Drake Smew (male) are lovely birds,the redheads are lovely but the drakes are stunning,i don't think the people of the UK who don't bird realise the beautiful birds we have on our islands but they are here and in good numbers.Our final bird of the day was a Bittern,which we actually had before i found the Smew but we also saw it after,just after another Marsh Harrier was found.The Bittern was originally standing in shallow reeds about 15 foot from our hide and stayed there for a good 3 minutes before heading to thicker reeds,we then looked from another angle where we found the bird again lying horizontally in the reeds,they are so hard to see as they are so well camoflauged.I have a rubbish picture taken from my scope and i phone underneath,i know they are crap but thats all i can take with at the moment lol,not sure you can see too much of it lol.All in all a wonderful day and once again many thanks to Howard who manages to see anything there is to see and much more.
Told you it was rubbish,but anyone who can blow up rubbish pictures like that may just be able to see it lol
As for today i have booked my tooth removal service for next Thursday and spent an hour or so over Bonnetts Wood and didn't really see anything apart from a lovely Water Rail and a kestrel,apart from that it was very very quiet although the forestry commision people were there and i did speak to them over their plans for extending the site,more on that when i have got some more details off them,back over there at first light tomorrow morning though.

No comments:

Post a Comment