Got up nice and early this morning,awoken by the Nipper demanding porridge and Dumbo as usual.
Had a bit of work to do this morning so dissapeared around 9am and headed for a quick pit stop via the finches et al down Gerpins Lane,as usual i wasn't dissapointed.
The Majority were Chaffinch but there were around 15 Goldfinch,10 Grenfinch,Around 30 Linnets,which if you look in the picture on the right and can see a few dots high in the high grass,these are Linnets,trust me,they are!!!
Other birds of note were 4 Red Legged Partridge,2 Reed Buntings a Kestrel and many Finches,mainly Fieldfare but a few Redwing as well.
I then went to work for an hour or so before heading to Thames Chase Forest Centre Mid Morning for an hour or so,on the way i had a Bullfinch (MALE) outside the Crematorium in Upminster along with around 80 Fieldfare in the trees.
Thames Chase is in Pike Lane,Upminster with a golf course on one side,the M25 on another and Farmland the rest of the way around.
On driving up Pike lane to the Centre i had 6 Red Legged Partidge,a Lovely Common Buzzard and around 60 Fieldfare in the trees and a few Redwing to boot.
My main objective on visiting Thames Chase this morning was to check out the new scrape which has been designed by the Ecologists who work with the Company who are responsible for the widening of The M25,europes busiest Motorway!!.I started walking towards the Scrape seeing Meadow Pipit on the way,large tit flocks,including 16,14 & 11 Long Tailed Tits,a few Goldcrest and the usual finches & thrushes.
3 Green Woodpeckers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen.
I walked up to the tunnel which takes me under the M25,it may be impassable in a day or so as the water level for the stream was quite high tioday and there is still alot of snow left to thaw but hopefully i can get round this problem,even so it will probably only be for a day or so,if at all.
On leaving the Tunnel i headed South and walked up a very snowy path,in the distance i could see some fencing,this must be the Scrape.I was a bit sceptical upon approaching it,i mean how good could a scrape be that is just a pit from the M25 works,and its only been there a couple of months.I needn't of worried as upon approaching it,it looked cracking,the only issue being it was not 50 foot from Europes Busiest Motorway.
A quick scan put me straight onto a Green Sandpiper,this had been reported on the sightings board a week ago,but on the sightings board at Thames chase once was an Eagle so i was slightly sceptical but there it was.
The scrape looked really good,it is hoped that plants etc will grow but it already seems to have attracted decent amounts of birds,the water level will go up no doubt once the thaw is complete as there are two pipes which are no doubt fed from the drainage of the M25,So in the summer it will probably get very low.
Looking around the scrape i saw 2 Lapwing,8 Snipe which was a surprise,4 Pied Wagtails,Redshank and a moorhen.I decided to walk around as far as i could and checked out the edges where suddenly i saw a Small Snipe bobbing around,first thought was Jack Snipe,i looked at the others and noticed the usual subtle differences ie size,short bill etc.A new year tick and an exciting tick for a site which isn't birded all that often,i never really see any birders there apart from the odd one in spring/summer.
Here are a couple of pictures of the Scrape,for those that use the M25 it is situated about half a mile past junction 29 going towards the Dartford Crossing,so if you stay in the slow lane,you may just see it,at the moment there is roadworks and the scrape is actually situated next to the first yellow speed camera after Junction 29(A127) you will see a brown fence,have a look if you can on your way past!!!!!