Serin,Isla's middle name...

Serin,Isla's middle name...

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Winter time in Upminster

Woke up this morning to a bright frosty morning,courtesy of our old friend Jack.I decided to make my way to my local patch,Broadfield Farm,the Thames Chase Site on Pike Lane,Upminster.I arrived just before 9am  and it was still freezing although a pleasant enough day.I made my way to the Southern end of the Site,where the trees have matured well,even though they are only 20 years old,the Alder trees hold good numbers of Redpolls & Siskins along with the odd Bullfinch,last winter we had at least 7 males on the site and the same number of Females,surely one of the best sites in Metropol,itan Essex.
Today the first bird i saw was a Redwing but all around i could hear Bullfinches,comning from the usual areas.I went to the crossroads as i call it,a good site with Alders on 3 of the sides,scrub and pine on the other,2 Blackcaps,a pair were feeding on some berries as were the tits and Greenfinch.Goldfinch were present in good numbers and the first Bullfinch appeared,4 birds,3 Males and a Female,flew behind some bushes,i managed a photo of one of them but it was quite distant.
An elderly couple approached me to ask what i was looking at,told them i had seen Bullfinch,he said he hadnt seen them for 30 years locally so i told him to stay with me for a while and i would guarantee him Bullfinch,Redpolls and Siskin,bit of a bold statement but it turned out ok and all 3 appeared for him and me within 15 minutes,as well as Green & Great Spotted Woodpecker,there were also Jays,a single Fieldfare and Kestrel.
The numbers of Thrushes,Finches etc are still quite low,around 10-12 of both Redpolls & Siskin but these should improve in the next few weeks,last year the siskin flocks were around 30-40 with similar numbers of Redpoll and it wasnt just one flock of each,there seemed to be smaller flocks of 10-15 birds knocking about.
I had to go around 1.30pm as i had a job to Heathrow but decided to visit the scrape the other side of the M25,last time i went over there the paths leading upto it were overgrown and not too much was on there,its only small in size but we have had a few birds on there in the past,notably the local Green Sandpiper,the other week a Greenshank was reported but not much else,but this could be because no one has been watching it.The paths leading upto it are now accessible as much of the grass has died but the area on top of the scrape is full of some thistley type thing that maybe finches feed off but its everywhere and basically a mess.You can only view the scrape from one or two places and even then its very hard,i didn't see much on there but last time i was there it was just water with a few muddy edges,this time it has a few reeds,plants have built up everywhere and if kept clean i am sure it will attract decent birds etc,We have a meeting tomorrow for the wildlife group so will bring it up there,as we want a hide in there but theres no point putting a hide up if you cant see over the bushes!!!
On my way to Heathrow saw 4 Buzzards and a Red Kite but at 80mph theres not much chance of me getting a decent photo of any of them.Up early in the morning,job to Southend Airport,hopefully it wont be too cold tonight as i am finishing at 6am and want to go birding straight after,although i haven't decided where yet!!!

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