Saturday, 17 May 2008

Morning Essex, afternoon Nurofen!

Saturday 17th May, often a good day in the birding calendar and a day not working. I decided to venture over to Essex to actually be on site at Rainham RSPB in the morning and hopefully enjoy the waders.
It's very local, it's just a shame that Dartford marshes on the South side of the Thames is rapidly becoming a concrete jungle, bike yard and shooting gallery. In the 20 or so years that I studied Dartford marshes on an almost daily basis the birding was often excellent and even last week I managed to add a long overdue species to my Dartford list with a cracking drake Garganey, though the Egyptian Geese had 'walked liked an Egyptian' elsewhere. Still, the Garganey brought my Dartford list to 204, if only the habitat was like Rainham, what else would I have seen.
The Temminck's Stints as expected weren't at Rainham though 2 Little Stint, a Golden Plover, 2 Turnstone, 3+ LRP, 2 Cuckoo, a Cetti's and some close Little Egrets kept me busy even though it was pretty cold and overcast. With news of a Red-footed Falcon 'still' at Seventy acres Lake, Lea Valley near Waltham Abbey at the Bitten watch point a mere 20 or so miles further round the M25 I felt was too good to miss as they're cracking birds and I was hoping to get some piccies. On arrival the bird was nowhere to be seen though was evidently hidden in a tree next to the No Bittern watch point. The bird well at times over the lakes together with 2 or 3 Hobby, and a supporting cast of Common Tern, Garden Warbler, Nightingale and Cetti's.

Not the best piccies in the World but it stubbornly refused to come any closer and that's the best I could get with my 400mm !!
By midday I was back in the hallowed county the 'Concrete Garden of England' and a kids birthday party. Fortunately Mr Nurofen was at hand, what a fantastic invention, ..... Nurofen not kids!!


lee said...

hello barry ihave studied your photos of hobbies or hobby ; now im no expert and it maybe down too picture quality but this bird does not look like a hobby at least not like the ones iv seen now your proberbly laugh at this but it doeslook more like alevant sparrowhawk isay this because it has grey head dark around its eyeunlike a dark crown of a hobby or peregrine and also seems too have a lot of red on its breast rather than justits vent and feet area perhaps they do vary please put me right confused.

Barry said...

Hi lee
I should have labelled the picture, so as not to cause confusion. My apologies, it's a female Red-footed Falcon, I never photographed the Hobbies.

lee said...

ha ha now i really do feel like a doughnut of course thankyou for putting me right i need nerofen

Tony Morris said...

Gripped me off with the Garganey Baz. I don't think I'll be coming back for it though. Isn't it a shame that all the effort we put in, and Simon, failed to get a Reserve at Dartford.