Welcome to my birdwatching blog. This blog will contain stories about my bird watching trips, interesting bird news and other tales that may or may not be bird related. I want to make it useful to the avid birder as well as those who may only have a passing interest in bird watching. I enjoy photographing bird life, common and rare through a spotting scope, not that they always sit still long enough for me. Being on the outskirts of North East London, my reports will not only cover my local patch of Redbridge/Waltham Forest, but also dip into deepest Essex, Suffolk, Kent and Norfolk.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A little pleasure before business

Working in Rochford has its moments but not many. Unless you a member of a mobility scooter club or look forward to being poisoned by the odd Indian restaurant or two, there really isn’t much to get excited about.  Even the local Sainsburys appears to have  ended it’s Meal Deal deal.

So why the duck do I get to work 2 hours before anyone else??? There’s a couple of reasons for this – both lame. One. The traffic at that time is light and this saves me a good 30 minutes as well as fuel. Secondly, I get stuff done. No phones ring. No one demanding work and most of all, I can raid the Haribo bowl without anyone knowing. No, it’s okay, they don’t read my blog. Come to that, I’m not sure anyone does.

So, this isn’t very healthy. The Haribos and the driving are making me fat or fatter. I used to walk a good 45 minutes every day to tube stations etc and today I walk nowhere.

Until a wryneck turned up down the road.

I didn’t know it was down the road until I looked the location up. South Fambridge. Well it’s not big and it’s not famous but it sits very close to the River Crouch and it was having a moment for itself. I thought well, why don’t I put this time to use more usefully?

River Crouch viewed from Seawall
So this morning, I went to South Fambridge at 7.15am and walked west along the sea wall. A stiff breeze made things a little uncomfortable and wearing short sleeves seemed a slight faux pas.

I approached the concrete pillbox, a flock of some 40 corn buntings flew up into the nearby bushes. I have only ever seen these birds in numbers below 10 before so this was a great start. No sign of the wryneck though. Further on, a few remaining sand martins and swallows skimmed the sky just above the seawall and the odd meadow pipit skipped out of the tall grass alarmed at my clod-hopping amble close to them. No sign of the wryneck.
Corn Bunting
There were curlews and common redshank calling and lesser black-backed, herring and black-headed gulls all over the mudflats. It was time to turn back and on the return, 4 whinchats and a wheatear appeared on the concrete path; whinchat, another new bird for that list of mine. A few skylark lazily flew up and glided down into the stubble fields.

Not content with disturbing a few small meadow pipits, I then disturbed a male marsh harrier that had clearly come down to get out of the wind had to then heave itself up into the air again and away in a south easterly direction probably cursing me under it’s breath. No sign of the wryneck.

The wryneck was there by all reports. Maybe tomorrow then for another early morning workout. I love working around here.


  1. Always like your blogs. Take me away to another place during another day of drudgery.

  2. Thanks Christian, it’s always encouraging to get positive feedback and I try to make people smile with my ramblings.