Thursday, 24 April 2014

Dagenham Chase

Spent the afternoon at The Chase, warblers have certainly now arrived with Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler dominating. A couple of Reed Warblers and one each of Sedge and Cetti's made it a good warbler day. Also three Common Terns on BADAG Lake showed well, although one definitely didn't want to play goosberry, as they continually displayed and chased around the lake.

It was great to find the Little Owl showing well as it roosted in the open and two Little Ringed Plovers on the slack were good to see.

Common Tern grabbing a minutes rest

Common Tern

Common Tern displaying

Little Owl awake and watching me watching him

Little Ringed Plover on the slack

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Old Hall Marshes

Walked the full length of the seawall, around seven miles at RSPB Old Hall Marshes today and my legs are feeling it now! It was well worth it though, the reserve looks fantastic, and the pair of Black-winged Stilts showed well. The first image was phonescopped, the other three were taken with a Canon 7d + 400mm lens, heavily cropped.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Bempton Cliffs

Yesterday I spent a fantastic day at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. I must thank Scott and his brilliant team for making myself and all the other visitors feel really welcome.

As ever the birds and scenery was stunning, Gannets & Kittiwakes showed superbly all along the cliffs.I only managed to find one puffin on the cliffs and he or she was a little distant, record shot below.

It is early in the breeding season, and the majority of Puffins, Razorbills & Guillemots were still on the sea, with just a few individuals staking their claim to a ledge on the cliff face.

The gannets breeding season was well underway, apparently the first Gannet egg was seen on March 28th. Their was lots of posing and posturing and beak displaying, the couple tapping their beaks together like some sort of amorous sword fight!

Some pairs were beyond the displaying stage!

The Kittiwakes breeding season was also well underway, I took many photographs during the day and below are some of my better Kittiwake efforts.

A Peregrine made a sortie over the cliffs, record shot below.

Four Lapland Buntings showed well in one of the stubble fields and included this fine male.

  Lots of sparrows were around the visitor centre and they were all Tree Sparrows, a species that has pretty much disappeared from Essex!

A single Swallow and three Wheatears were also seen during the day and despite my best efforts I never managed a Fulmar image. Oh well, I guess I'll have to make a return visit!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Vange Marsh

An early morning stroll around Vange Marsh in the hope of connecting with yesterdays Black-necked Grebes. Sadly, there was no sign, but at least six Bearded Tits showed well and my first Sedge Warbler of spring was singing in the eastern reedbed.

A Jay flew over and I grabbed a couple of quick shots.