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.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Northern lass hits Essex.

Now, Long-tailed ducks are normally to be seen off the Northern and Eastern coasts in winter. From Scotland down to Norfolk/Suffolk is their usual range and most of the time, can be seen bobbing merrily on the sea or flying low across it. rarely are they seen on what can be at best described as a small lake but at Gunners Park near Southend, this is what we have.

Gunners Park Lake
Gunners Park is a pretty good birding spot. Plenty of scrubland and trees, metres from the sea brings in the right conditions great migrants in the spring and autumn. In winter the shoreline is awash with waders. Today, Sanderling, Oystercatcher, Common Redshank, Turnstone, Ringed Plover, Lapwing and a few Bar-tailed Godwits fed along the outgoing tide. In the scrub, bag loads of Song Thrushes, Dunnocks and blackbirds heralded in the new day.

The air was slightly damp with an irritating mizzle. The light was very poor so any images are rather grainy I’m afraid. On the lake, Mallards topped the numbers chart with a few Mute Swans and Little Grebes. A lone female Common Scoter was a bit unusual but the star of the show was definitely a female Long-tailed Duck. Both the Scoter and the Long-tailed Duck have been here since 20th December so they weren’t that much of a surprise. The surprising thing was they were still here when I was here.

Long-tailed Duck

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