Thursday, 27 December 2007

3 ticks and a dip

I managed to go to Rainham marshes rspb today via connaught water in the epping forest.

Firstly after some skilful map reading (or so i thought!) my dad and i were pulling into the car park at connaught water in the epping forest, a sort of park lake in an ancient woodland, searching for mandarin a Cat. c Duck i had never bothered to look for before. This site is meant to be a dead cert for them, but they obvoiously hadn't been reading the same websites as me as there were none to be seen at all. The only interesting thing was a drake red crested pochard, which wasn't exactly coming to bread but flying from the other side of the lake to the side i was at and then quacking at me from close quaters doesnt fill me with confidence about its origans!

After another embarasing dip i hot footed it to rainham marshes where i had dipped the wintering rock and water pipits earlier this month. Getting to the reserve at midday due to traffic congestion on the m25, i set off on the marsh trail. After a birdless half mile i got to the old rifle range where a part of the flock of 80 something barnacle goose were showing. The geese arrived earlier this week in fog and cold weather, with pink feets and tundra beans, so there about as wild as you expect to get this side of caerlaverock. The barnies were a lifer for me because all the ones in suffolk are feral birds...apparently.

Nothing much of any interest any where else on the reserve, other then the hide, where a couple were convinced they could see a lurvely 'snipe' just in front of the hide (honestly all i could see is mud...) After getting back to the visitor centre and checking out the 50% off sale in the shop (on cards, only) it was off to the stone barges carpark for the 2.30 pm high tide.

Having failed here only three weeks, my confidence was'nt great and to see pipits calling in flight while flying a way only makes me hate them more, however they came good in the end with views of at least one water pipits and several littoralis rock pipits. Success! with pipits! I couldnt be happier. No really.

Vital stats now at (223/208)

Managed some pictures this week from the digiscope because of the range, apoligies for the poor quality.

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