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.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

January Birding Highlights

I say this at the start of every new year, the first trip out is alway great because every species sighting is a tick for my year. 2016 was no exception. With two bird races kicking off, The Rainham Marshes one created by Howard Vaughan and a smaller more private affair in the Lee Valley with Roy Woodward and Dave Hutley.

Lee Valley, particularly around the Fishers Green area held a good number of Lesser Redpolls through January. These were mainly seen around the Longlands Hide occasionally coming to the feeders. A pair of Coal Tits also enjoyed the feeding station while large flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing could be found on the outlying fields. A Lesser spotted woodpecker was also sighted near the hide by my friend Brenda. Lucky lady!

Up at Holyfield Farm, regulars included Grey Wagtail, Chiffchaff and a pair of Stonechats, often sighted on the pathway towards the farm. Common Buzzards, Kestrels and a couple of Red Kite were in the area.

Nightingale Wood had a good number of Goldcrests and close by, Goosanders numbered 6 individuals in the Ashley Pit area as well as a regular pair on Seventy Acres Lake.

From the Bittern Watchpoint, sighting of the Bittern were irregular with my only clear view being of one flushed by a Mink and taking flight. Water Rails too, were only occasionally seen. A Treecreeper kept people entertained from both sides of the information centre preferring the tree to the left of the hide and the Alder at the front.

Further south towards Hooks Marsh and Hall Marsh Scrape, Little Egrets, a pair of Smew and Siskins were seen. Wigeon, Teal and Pochard were also in good numbers here.





Coal Tit

Grey Wagtail

Long-tailed Tit

Lesser Redpoll


Greylag Goose with Canada Geese


Over at Rainham, the stars of January were definitely the Short-eared Owls. Up to 6 birds were on the reserve or close by at the landfill. Barn Owls could be seen – just from the nest box on the reserve and Common Buzzards and Marsh Harriers were seen hunting over Wennington Marsh.

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