Saturday, 27 August 2016

Patch Update - ticking over

After last weekends success in adding both Tree Pipit and Wigeon to the patch year list, I was hoping for more additions today - but unfortunately, a single Common Sandpiper skirting around the edge of Alexandra Lake was the only new bird.

Patch Year List

The now semi-retired midweek guys had pulled a Pied Fly and Golden Plover out the bag, along with good numbers of Spotted Flycatchers (seven) and Whinchat (six), so my expectations for this morning were running high, but as so often is the case at this time of year one clear night and most things had buggered off south the following morning - leaving me with just the scraps. The only birds of note were a single Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Whinchats and a Garden Warbler, hey ho - it's the long Bank Holiday weekend and in the blink of an eye things can change with endless possibilities...I just need to find the time to get out there!

Autumn, London, Wanstead
I've been spotted by a Spotted Flycatcher!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Surf, Pasties and a Pelican would have been rude not to have paid this big old bird a visit whilst holidaying in Cornwall with the family - especially as it's potentially a 1st for Britain.

A wonderful week of sun, sea and surf in Cornwall, along with far too many pasties and I was playing it super cool, leaving it until our last day before making the short 45 minute drive from our base near Padstow to Point Quay on Restronguet Creek to have a look at the now long staying (knocking around Cornwall since 7th May) adult Dalmatian Pelican - it was just a shame the bird was showing so distantly.

The bird has been favouring an exposed spit visible at low tide in the middle of the creek, so when I arrived there it was asleep with head in wing, not looking that dissimilar to a Mute Swan - as I only had my bins I was grateful to another birder who let me view the bird through his scope. Thankfully the bird did eventually move, standing up and going for a bit of a walk along the spit, finishing with a bit of a preen before slumping down again for another snooze. 

It would've been great to have witnessed the bird in flight and seeing that big 3 metre wingspan in action but alas it wasn't to be, and soon my all too brief visit to Point Quay was over, as I had some more waves to catch and a meeting with another pasty - surfs up!

Cornwall, Restronguet Creek, Point Quay

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Hen Harrier Day 2016 - Rainham Marsh

I have to thank and applaud all who helped to make Hen Harrier Day at Rainham Marsh a big success. From the RSPB volunteers to the impassioned key speakers, and especially the hundreds of "Active Conservationists" who came along in support of the ongoing campaign to save our Hen Harriers and upland wildlife in general and finally ban the archaic act of Driven Grouse Shooting.

We have until September 20th to reach the magic milestone of 100,000 signatures, and trigger that all important parliamentary debate. So if you haven't signed already - SIGN TODAY!
And if you have signed, ask your family and friends to sign? Lets get this petition over the line...

Click here "The Petition"

Hen Harrier Day, Rainham, RSPB
73,302 signatures and rising with every passing hour
Hen Harrier Day, Rainham, RSPB
Chris Packham and Mike Clarke chew over the facts!