Wednesday 15 January 2014

Duck mash-up

I went to Paglesham Lagoon this morning to keep my year list moving. This striking duck was floating around with the shovelers. A quick google search suggests a Shoveler x Wigeon hybrid. Surely not. I also flushed a short-eared owl, giving close views, a good look at a Rock Pipit and some smart Bar-tailed Godwits bringing up 81.

Sunday 12 January 2014

Long Reef

Red-necked Stint Ruddy Turnstones Pacific Golden Plover Grey-tailed Tattler

I had a loooong overdue trip to Long Reef today. It's well known as a good wader spot and so it proved this morning. After a nervous thigh-high wade across the reef at dropping tide the rewards were a nice - reasonably confiding mixed flock of 100+ Red-necked Stint, 4 Grey-tailed Tattler, c.15 Ruddy Turnstones and 18 Pacific Golden Plover.

Friday 10 January 2014


A quick run around West Canvey Marsh yesterday added this Scaup, stonechat, and a few others to my year list. With the pheasant I saw today, I'm up to 70.

Thursday 2 January 2014

Keeping them peeled for 2014

I'm going to have a crack at a local year list again this year. I kicked off on a pre-dawn, pitch black walk through Hockley Woods. I had a bit of an iffy Tawny Owl call among the Carrion crow cacophony so left it off my list. I stood at the edge of the wood and watched the hoards of crows flying south with the odd Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming in the first shades of blue into the sky. My focus was on an area of the woods where 3 Firecrests had been seen the previous day with no luck, so I headed for a very similar area along the same stream but further East and I didn't have to wait. There was a female Firecrest, typically mobile, but giving great views. That was undoubtedly the moment of the day. I got up to 50+ species on my way to my previously set target of 165 species.