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Essex Birding

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Old Saturday 1st February 2014, 21:55   #3176
The sniper
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Sorry ,didn't see Steve's post on directions
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Old Saturday 1st February 2014, 22:43   #3177
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Thanks all for your help - will report back to you Monday.....:P
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Old Sunday 2nd February 2014, 03:07   #3178
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Have a great day,at least the weather looks set fair,but wrap up warm!!!
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Old Sunday 2nd February 2014, 19:38   #3179
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Nice day to be outside but slightly disappointing "seawatch" off Rolls Farm over the tide today. Two slavs and single goldeneye, med gull and guillemot were all we could scrape together. Nearby were a few yellowhammers and singing skylarks but otherwise pretty quiet. Two hares were the first I've seen in county for a few months.
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Old Sunday 2nd February 2014, 21:02   #3180
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Short-eared Owls (3) putting on a great show this evening at Wallasea Island. Also there 2 Barn Owls, Hen Harrier and a Merlin.
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Old Sunday 2nd February 2014, 21:15   #3181
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Short-eared Owls (3) putting on a great show this evening at Wallasea Island. Also there 2 Barn Owls, Hen Harrier and a Merlin.
Fine pic Steve.

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Old Monday 3rd February 2014, 22:11   #3182
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Lovely shot Steve
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Old Tuesday 4th February 2014, 06:16   #3183
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Beats the dead shoveller arlow.
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Old Tuesday 4th February 2014, 08:01   #3184
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Beats the dead shoveller arlow.
And the two dead Badgers and a dead Pheasant we saw on the way....
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Old Tuesday 4th February 2014, 08:34   #3185
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If we get another sunny day on a weekend will definately try for the Short-eareds again in the evening, was again special watching them hunting the grasslands with two Barn Owls (at one point had 2 Barn Owls, 2 Shorties and a perched Merlin all in the same scope view, superb stuff)
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Old Tuesday 4th February 2014, 08:47   #3186
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I agree Owls, especially Short-eared, never fail to amaze, they're fantastic to watch.
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Old Tuesday 4th February 2014, 09:23   #3187
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(at one point had 2 Barn Owls, 2 Shorties and a perched Merlin all in the same scope view, superb stuff)
That would be an amazing sight!
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Old Tuesday 4th February 2014, 11:40   #3188
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Hi there, have been to Wallasea a few times in recent weeks, and whilst I saw the Hen Harrier, haven't seen any owls at all. I don't have a scope, just my 8x42 bins and my 150-500mm camera lens - are the owls close enough to the car park/white gate for me to see them?

I often go out to have a look when I've seen birds posted here, and invariably find that they were probably spotted by scope rather than my meagre equipment. Would anyone mind occasionally specifying if they get close (i.e. bins or camera) views of the fab birds at places like Wallasea, the Pier, the marshes etc. Sometimes it's an awfully long way to walk for a black-headed gull... Thanks.
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Old Tuesday 4th February 2014, 12:08   #3189
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Hi there, have been to Wallasea a few times in recent weeks, and whilst I saw the Hen Harrier, haven't seen any owls at all. I don't have a scope, just my 8x42 bins and my 150-500mm camera lens - are the owls close enough to the car park/white gate for me to see them?

I often go out to have a look when I've seen birds posted here, and invariably find that they were probably spotted by scope rather than my meagre equipment. Would anyone mind occasionally specifying if they get close (i.e. bins or camera) views of the fab birds at places like Wallasea, the Pier, the marshes etc. Sometimes it's an awfully long way to walk for a black-headed gull... Thanks.
" Sometimes it's an awfully long way to walk for a black-headed gull... " I know that feeling

They should be close enough, last time me and Viv were there they were practically over the car park and we were standing by the white gate...It's just being there at the right time of day
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Old Tuesday 4th February 2014, 12:26   #3190
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That's good to know, thanks Tom - will have another go. Have not yet seen an owl in the wild.
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Old Tuesday 4th February 2014, 12:31   #3191
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Good luck, they're brilliant!
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Old Tuesday 4th February 2014, 19:32   #3192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Arlow View Post
If we get another sunny day on a weekend will definately try for the Short-eareds again in the evening, was again special watching them hunting the grasslands with two Barn Owls (at one point had 2 Barn Owls, 2 Shorties and a perched Merlin all in the same scope view, superb stuff)
Nice shot Steve,

Looked at the weather at midday here in East Tilbury and it looked too windy and a risk that they wouldn't be out. Looked again at 3.30 amd the wind had dropped and I thought ... should've gone. Pleased you were there to enjoy them.

What time were you there? and what time did they first show?
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Old Tuesday 4th February 2014, 19:34   #3193
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That's good to know, thanks Tom - will have another go. Have not yet seen an owl in the wild.

Catch it right and Wallasea offers one of (if not) the best opportunity to get close shots of Barn Owls and SEO's.

Last year we had at least 2 SEO's at Thameside NP Mucking and wasn't unusual for them to fly over the car bonnet on the drive to the Visitor Centre, but no sign this year. Like a lot of the winter visitors, notable by their absence so far this year.
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Old Tuesday 4th February 2014, 23:13   #3194
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Superb photo of a superb bird! SEO's are indeed amazing to watch......

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Short-eared Owls (3) putting on a great show this evening at Wallasea Island. Also there 2 Barn Owls, Hen Harrier and a Merlin.
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Old Tuesday 4th February 2014, 23:35   #3195
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Thanks for the advising me to go to Rainham Marshes. My friend met me at Fenchurch Street only to realise that he could have got on at Barking - he lives 2 stops away from the reserve and now he knows how to get there. We had to stop at Fenchurch Street for about 40 minutes for the next train. We did not arrive at the reserve until 1 pm. We walked around the reserve and for some of it you do need wellies.

I was not that impressed with the reserve but every reserve has had its off days! In general the wading birds were distant and I saw Yellow Legged Gull, Golden Plover, Dunlin, Little Egret, Parakeets flying to roost, Green Woodpecker, Pintail ad Cetti's Warbler - they were the more interesting of birds. I would visit again in the summer if I had the chance. My friend got some photos of Tits, Reed Buntings and Finches.
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Old Wednesday 5th February 2014, 00:34   #3196
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Rainham can be like that.
It obviously helps if you know the reserve and where certain species turn up,some days birds get close up on others they only afford distant views.
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Old Wednesday 5th February 2014, 07:25   #3197
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The Wallasea owls can be close from the car park or white gate but I would say they are better from along the road a couple of layby's back. They are / were close for bins, at one point 20yrds out from the roadside. I was there from 3pm till dusk. If they perch in the black fencing posts then they are more distant. Basically they hunt the reptile area as defined by the low black fencing. Get good weather and be there in the evening. More of the owls here http://www.birdersplayground.co.uk/Recent%20Images.html
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Old Wednesday 5th February 2014, 09:05   #3198
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Thanks so much for that more detailed info, sounds like I've just been at the wrong times. Can't wait for this wind to drop and I'll get back over. I had been trying to figure out where the 'reptile area' was - that's where I saw the Hen Harrier! I have assumed that the 'wild bird cover' is the area from the entrance to the white gate and a few hundred yards along the road?
Only hope to get some photos even 10% as good as those ones - beautiful!
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Old Wednesday 5th February 2014, 14:29   #3199
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Hoping to go tomorrow or Friday dependant on weather
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Old Friday 7th February 2014, 19:33   #3200
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I was at the white gate at Wallasea for an hour up to dusk and saw Kestrel, Merlin, ring-tail Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl and 2 Barn Owls.
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