Serin,Isla's middle name...

Serin,Isla's middle name...

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Pipits,are they supposed to confuse you???

If ever you want to be confused by Pipits,just head down to the RSPB Reserve at Rainham on a damp Wednesday and by the time you get near the Foreshore,windy!!
I actually started off around 9am at the Stone Barges in Rainham,used to be a good place for Black Redstart among other things but i've not seen one there for a while and not too sure too many have been reported in that time,used to see Tree Sparrows leading up to there but they have gone as well,in fact many species have jumped barge and had it on there toes out of many areas lately,must be something in the water.
Anyway,a little ramble around the Area produced a few teal on the barges with good numbers of Lapwing,a few Redshank were around as were a couple of knot.I scanned the gulls on the tip and apart from a couple of Great black back gulls nothing out the ordinary,then again gulls are not my strong point,i usually wait for someone else to shout "caspian" before watching as they just confuse me,i am not alone in that either,for sure.
Just as i was getting ready to leave i saw my first confusing Pipit,it didn't stay in one place,kept flittering about and in changing light looked like all 3 of the regular Pipits you get at Rainham but after settling down i finally managed to confidently,well sort of ID it as Water Pipit,i bumped into Russ and Dave who had apparantly been watching the same bird a few minutes before who thought the same so we decided on a cup of tea over at the Rainhamn Reserve Cafeteria.For £1.30 you get a big mug of Tea,job done and a huge Sausage Roll for 2 nicker,breakfast done and now time for some Confusing Pipits.
I headed along the Sea Wall,or wall to the Thames rather than the sea,but it is tidal so i suppose its the sea but i call it a river if you get my drift,thats not the confusing bit,that comes in a minute.
First couple of birds i had were 2 Great Crested Grebes going up river,soon after were 5 cormorants heading up river too,on the deck on the sure were around 50 teal,a few Wigeon and the odd tufted duck close in,now for the confusing part,i heard 4 Meadow Pipits overhead,watched them land,then dissapear,then 7 birds re surfaced,half decent views of all the birds but only 2 appeared to be Meadow Pipits,the others were Rock Pipits,or at least 3 of them were.The others with their backs to me started to confuse me,anyway i decided to head down to Aveley Bay when another couple of birds landed on some rocks,close by,these were Water Pipits.They then dissapeared and were seen to be replaced with Rock Pipits a few moments later.Had i seen what i thought i had,or were these pesky little birds messing with my mind,fuck knows to be honest.The water pipits i had seen were definatly water Pipits,the Meadow Pipits were definatly Meadows and the first 3 Rock Pipits were definatly Rock Pipits,so why am i confused,because the fuckers don't stand still like they should!!!
Dazed,windswept and confused,i decided on another cup of tea.....
I decided then to head Down River to Grays,not a place i go to much due to their rivalry with Hornchurch but it does throw some good birds up like last years Grey Phalarope,but nothing but Black head gulls and about 30 sparrows in the bracken close by,but still,nice numbers.Nothing else on the Sea/River either.I headed east to Tilbury,had a scan there by the Ferry but the same again,zilch....
From there i decided to head North to Orsett and the South Essex Fens as i call them,basically flat land with one Drain devoid of any water,running through the Middle,not much luck here either apart from a few Fieldfare in the odd tree and a few Pheasants.I decided to call it a day,just briefly stopping off at Pike Lane on the outskirts of Upminster and stopping in one of my favourite places,a little lay by where you look over a piece of land surrounded by trees but has a clearing in the middle,quite a large area,about 1/3rd mile long and 1/4 mile wide,used to be very overgrown but is now basically a meadow where you get pheasants,Green & gt spotted woodpeckers,redwing,fieldfares,crows,tits etc and today a nice Male Bullfinch,spent half hour there watching rabbits and all sorts before heading to the car wash to get the motor cleaned and then home.
Am away for a couple of days tomorrow,taking a group to Leicestershire early in the morning,pick them up friday evening and in between the plan is to hit Norfolk for some birding.....happy days.......Hard Life

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