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, 28 February 2012

Snow Buntings at Shoebury

For a few weeks, there have been sighting of snow buntings a few miles form work. This morning I went over to Shoebury to have a look. The birds have regularly been seen at East Beach, anywhere between the car park and the beach.

East Beach
With the tide out, a few waders and gulls were hanging about like delinquents on a street corner. These were made up of Common Redshanks, Curlews, Oystercatchers and Knot. Overhead a flock of Dark-bellied Brent Geese came down to join the waders.

This was all very nice but I really wanted the buntings. I walked along the beach and had nearly covered the length of it when a pair of small birds flew down close to me. The snow buntings didn’t seem to be bothered by me but slowly worked their way away from me as they searched for breakfast.

Blurry Snow Bunting
I tried to photograph them but it was a bit difficult. Firstly, my camera struggled to focus on the blighters and then of course they refused to sit still or even look at the camera – never employ these birds as models because they’re useless. Then trouble approached. Dogs and dog walkers always seem oblivious to birdwatcher watching something. It’s not their fault but honestly, I tried to gently indicate with my arms that I’d like them to just wait a minute but I guess dogs don’t do sign language. Anyway, the birds decided to get gone and that was that. 'Morning' the dog walker called cheerfully. 'Well observed' I thought amongst other things. I just waved my invisible hand.

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