Serin,Isla's middle name...

Serin,Isla's middle name...

Monday, 3 January 2011

They Do Ron Ron Ron

After an impeccable nightimes sleep from the nipper after the previous nights bedlam i woke up at 7am ready for a mornings birding with fellow local birder and another Hornchurch fan,Ron Colson.
I arrived at Belhus Country Park at 7.30am on the hope of catching a few birds before the maniac dog walkers turned up and i was in luck,the first car in the car park.I walked down to where i had seen the Marsh tits yesterday but they were not there,although i was treated to a festival of noise from the other tits,nuthatches,treecreepers & woodpeckers,it was not too far short of a spring morning had it been a few degrees warmer.I had hoped to maybe catch a Tawny Owl in the woods but heard or saw nothing.After poncing about in the woods for an hour or so i decided to head back up to the car park to meet Ron,who was there waiting for me.We decided to head back down to the feeders as Ron had not seen the Marsh tits yet and after about 20 minutes looking for them we decided to give up till later.Although we had by this time seen Nuthatch,great tit,Long tailed tits,blue tit,green Woodpecker,jay 2 goldcrest and heard treecreeper.
We decided to head to the scrape/conversation area to see the Red Crested Pochard male that i found yesterday.On the way we stopped in a field where we saw Redwing(12) fieldfare (20 with another flock of around 30 in the trees to the right),there were good amounts of greenfinch as well.Ron had to dash back to the Car because he had forgot to pay the £2 car park fee(rip off merchants and i can't help thinking that many birders do not bird Belhus because of this reason),in the meantime i had a flock of 12 goldfinch and a meadow pipit,both year ticks for me.Once we got to the scrape,it looked like much of the ice from yesterday had thawed overnight although there was still quite a lot of ice on there.We looked out from in front of the hide to see around 150 wigeon,a few teal,around 30 pochard,2 ruddy duck,plenty of black head gulls as well as mallard,greylag & canada geese.Numbers of gadwall were quite low but we couldn't locate the Red crested Pochard.I decided we should move further around the scrape and as soon as we did we locked on to it,once again getting cracking views.We stayed at the same spot for about an hour,watching the birds,chatting about the mighty AFC Hornchurch etc and scanning the fields behind us.At one point we were convinced a tuft of grass in the distance was a funny bird but under close inspection it was exactly what it said on the tin,grass,a Water Rail in the reeds was another year bird for me.We decided to head off across the farmland and as we got to the other side we latched on to about 12 goldfinch but one or two looked a bit different and under closer inspection,one was a chaffinch,the other a linnet.Not too sure why they were not with their mates but the linnet was another year tick for me.
From there we decided to venture a bit off track towards a fishing lake i know,just as we climbed over a fence onto a track i locked on to around 8 snipe in the distance,not sure where they were off to,they seemed to be following the M25 north which was in the near distance,perhaps they were on their way to watch Lowestoft v concord in the ryman premier league!,still,another year tick for me.
After about 10 minutes of walking through bushes and nettles we arrived at a bit of farmland(dissused farmland by the look off it)next to the pond.After a quick jimmy riddle in the nearest bush i then had 6 stock doves in the distance but not too much else,Ron then alerted me to some Shoveler on the pond so we decided to get a bit closer to check it out.As we arrived at the pond the majority was still frozen solid but the part that wasn't held 4 male shovelers,2 female and a couple of Mallards.We made our way round the pond which i believe is a dissused fishing pond for tunnel AC,scanning the reedbeds we didn't see anything but it looks like it could throw up the odd delight so i may try and get over there again soon.We left the pond and walked back down a track towards the country park a quarter or so of a mile away,we decided to again head off track and towards the M25,maybe there were some waders or geese in the grassland that is usually flooded this time of year but after about 400 yards we saw some dogs in the distance and under further scanning realised that it looked like a bit of a scrap yard so we turned back before we could be made into scrap metal ourselves or chewed to bits by the local nasty dogs.Back on the track we headed to another pond i know,i believe most of the ponds round there are ex gravel pits which we excavated for the M25 then turned into ponds as a way of getting nature back into them.Again,this one was frozen solid.Ron then threw a stone up into the air to land on the Pond,nothing,just a thud and a pretty noise on the ice.It was then that i started throwing stones higher onto the ice trying to break the ice(for wildlife helping purposes obviously!!!),after the 5th stone i decided on a bigger stone and a more ferocious throwing action,it was then that my newish I phone,fell out of my pocket and cracked the screen a lot easier than the Stone cracked the ice.Thoroughly pissed off now as i only bought this I phone 2 months ago after smashing the last one falling off my bike i rang the missus to tell her (the phone actually still works and i can still use all the functions on it,so not too bad)who told me what a fool i had been and asked if i knew what time it was as i had promised to be in by 12 and it was about half 12,i decided then that we should have a slow walk back to the car park and to have one last look for the Marsh Tit for Ron.We arrived back at the feeders around 1pm and within 5 minutes were rewarded with our first Marsh tit,as well as good views of nuthatch.Another Marsh tit popped on to the feeders and started us thinking about how long the Marsh tits had been at Belhus,if they have or will breed and how many are actually there,as it seems that Belhus can be very underwatched for the size of the place.I left around 1.15pm to go home before taking Isla to my mums to wish her a very happy birthday.
As far as football goes,it was a decent day in the Ryman Premier this afternoon with kingstonian losing 3-1 at home to Horsham in their game in hand on us at the top end and Canvey beating Billericay who were above us a few weeks ago.Our opponents at the Bridge next Saturday,Lowestoft beat Concord rangers 2-0 and are now a point behind us with 3 games in hand but at one point were 12 points behind us and even then still had two games in hand.Tomorrow we have a "friendly" against romford at the Bridge(our home) if you can ever call a game between the two clubs a friendly,personally i hope we batter them!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rob,
    Thanks for the company, great morning out, able to see what I went for and more.
    I only stayed for another 1/2 hr longer. The 2 Marsh tits came and went twice in that time. Nothing new came along, except there was an increase in the numbers of Goldcrests, at one time there were six. Robins also increased to five at one time, they did not know whether to go for the food or each other. I left after a Jay came through and landed straight onto the table. Terrible table manners, scattering all the others feeding!
    I hope Alice is talking to you after the I-Phone incident. Cheers mate , hope to see around. Ron