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Essex Birding

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Old Monday 8th September 2014, 16:04   #3551
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The Wryneck, found at The Naze yesterday by Phil Carter, was still present there today. It is frequenting the area of brambles, bushes and sandy fringes between the two 'lagoons' at the north end. (Mind you, the term 'lagoons' conjures up a more delightful picture than the stagnant reality!) I first saw the bird take a short flight from the ground and later located it perched in a bush near the the more western 'lagoon'.

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Old Monday 8th September 2014, 16:22   #3552
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Might well be another there now as one flew strongly (not a word I usually associate with wryneck!) north along Frinton greensward this morning until out of sight and so almost in Walton. Im intrigued by either the turn over of wrynecks in ne Essex - multiple sightings at Frinton and holland haven but in quite different locations and > a week apart in both cases suggests different birds yet eg Suffolk, gunners park has some long stayers. Given the good coverage at these sites and the mass if habitat at the naze, as alluded to recently by others, you wonder what we are missing!

Diurnal passage is picking up nicely with mipits joining the swallows (v few house martins so far for me) and a few grey wags, tree pipits, Siskin over recent days. Might need a change in the weather for sea passage to pick up (happen at all!)

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Old Monday 8th September 2014, 17:58   #3553
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I gain the impression that Wrynecks search out the right sort of feeding area and, once located, stay around that area, feeding-up to put on weight. Certainly the area between the lagoons at The Naze is a favourite spot for autumn passage Wrynecks to stop over for a few days. I'm pretty sure that this autumn's bird is the third or more that I've seen at this precise location over the years. The area around the toilets at Holland Haven is another favoured spot. The appeal is: sandy soil with plenty of ants and other ground insects, surrounded by brambles and bushes. Once they've found such a spot, why leave!

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Old Monday 8th September 2014, 21:11   #3554
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I agree, hence the impression that the two birds at the haven, in different areas and neither in the favoured spot, whilst the Frinton undercliff has the habitat it is very difficult to observe. That said the ants are constantly digging up the sand in the front garden and driveway so perhaps I don't clear the brambles next year ;0). Cracking birds, and nice that they can turn up almost anywhere at this time of year.

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Old Sunday 14th September 2014, 08:45   #3555
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Glossy Ibis dropped on to Wat Tyler scrape at 7.15pm last night (Saturday).

Sabines gull (juv) at East Tilbury on Thursday was a nice highlight on my first patch walk after returning from holiday. 2 Arctic skua (adult dark phase and juv), guillemot, and a spoonbill (juv) which fed for a while on the Coalhouse/Tilbury PS foreshore.

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Old Monday 15th September 2014, 11:24   #3556
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High Tides at Two Tree Island recently have been producing Curlew Sands most of the time, in various numbers.

Yesterdays afternoon High Tide was great, was in the high couple hours before High Tide as birds got pushed out of the creeks and sand bars as the tide came in and they moved to the lagoon.

There was only one Curlew Sandpiper but it was good views through the scope along with a lone Spotted Redshank, not maky use this site. Again hundreds and hundreds of Black-tailed Godwits coming in in waves as well as lots of Knot, Greenshanks (50+) and Golden Plover along with commoner waders.

Although most of the birds are the usual it was again great to see the concentrations and the searching through the flocks for the unsual. Can recommend the hide here over coming tides this week.

Evening at Bowers Marsh, 5pm till dusk, resulted in Little Stint, Ruffs, Black-tailed Godwits, Avocets in numbers, Greenshanks, Green Sandpipers, Peregrine and Marsh Harrier. Again not to unsual but extremely enjoyable round robin of the reserve.

Elsewhere several local Honey Buzzards have been reports, maybe relating the same individual roaming around, and an increase in Common Buzzard reports but migrants have gone thin on the ground despite the easterlies.
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Old Thursday 18th September 2014, 09:49   #3557
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Er, just poking through the recent EBWS sightings and on Saturday 13th there's bonapartes and ring-billed gull off Dovercourt in the same gull flock. Any thoughts? Amazing records, if correct. I don't want to be instantly cynical as stranger things have happened, but...
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Old Thursday 18th September 2014, 16:08   #3558
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Someone on the yahoo group email did ask for further details but none were forthcoming (possibly as the observer is not on the group). I've heard nothing more locally through other sources so can't add any further comment. Steve a also pointed out this would be the first ring bill since Rossi so very notable at county level. The ne of the county hasn't had a bonaparts's in recent times (if ever) either. Unless a good description or photos will be submitted in due course
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Old Thursday 18th September 2014, 19:56   #3559
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I think that you can be "cynical" or at least "strongly doubtful" about this gull report. As was said, this would be a pretty amazing turn up, and nothing has been heard since. Interesting too, that Birdguides - which trawls through sites like EBwS and regularly repeats reported sightings - completely ignored this report.

I don't know the woman who reported it, and wouldn't want to make too many presumptions, but the fault may lie in guidebooks such as Collins not providing some simple and obvious rating of rarity status. I recall one US guidebook that had ratings such as '6: lucky to see'; '7: how lucky can you get'! And, it's the often commented issue of people always wanting and expecting to see rarities, forgetting that 'rarity' means just that.

Stepping off soapbox now - Stewart
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 07:30   #3560
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Yesterday's Barred Warber found in Gunners Park, Shoebury, has been reliably reported as still present this morning in NE corner of reserve.

I can't seem to get any emails out from phone or laptop this morning!
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 11:13   #3561
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Barred Warbler is still around the concrete pad area just to the north of the reserve according to local tweets/twitter messages.

Saw the bird briefly last night twice and would love to get back for further looks but wont have the chance as off up north early next morning and gear all packed up.

This is a local / SOG area tick for me as I missed the last twitchable bird back in the early 90's I think it was. great bird and great find by Mr BakerBoy...

Also a Garden Warbler being around the same area
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 14:13   #3562
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frinton BO View Post
The ne of the county hasn't had a bonaparts's in recent times (if ever) either.
Only one record for the county shown in the Birds of Essex 2007 - 27/8/1994 on Hadleigh Marshes. Don't know if one has been accepted since then?
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 14:43   #3563
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Only one record for the county shown in the Birds of Essex 2007 - 27/8/1994 on Hadleigh Marshes. Don't know if one has been accepted since then?
Haven't there been a couple of recent records in the London/Essex crossover area? I'm sure I remember being utterly unmoved to twitch them...

Edit - a quick google for "elbf bonapartes" suggests there were two commuting between Crossness and Barking Bay in May 2012. There might have been others; I didn't look.
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 16:08   #3564
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Haven't there been a couple of recent records in the London/Essex crossover area? I'm sure I remember being utterly unmoved to twitch them...

Edit - a quick google for "elbf bonapartes" suggests there were two commuting between Crossness and Barking Bay in May 2012. There might have been others; I didn't look.
The 1994 bird at Hadleigh is considered highly dubious and really shouldn't be on the Essex list on basis of that bird. The Crossness bird(s) probably crossed into Essex waters at some point, when they were at mid channel.
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 16:13   #3565
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Arlow View Post
The 1994 bird at Hadleigh is considered highly dubious and really shouldn't be on the Essex list on basis of that bird. The Crossness bird(s) probably crossed into Essex waters at some point, when they were at mid channel.
However the 1994 bird was accepted by the BBRC?
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 16:47   #3566
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However the 1994 bird was accepted by the BBRC?
Yes it was but anyone can write a description from a book though to make it acceptable, all the locals know it was rubbish
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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 17:48   #3567
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Yes it was but anyone can write a description from a book though to make it acceptable, all the locals know it was rubbish
Interesting! Birds can and have been removed from accepted records - was any 'counter-evidence' submitted in this instance?

I take your point about cribbing descriptions from guidebooks, and it chimes in a way with my earlier comment about the 'naive' use of guidebooks. We may yet get a guidebook-based description of the Dovercourt bird!

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Old Friday 19th September 2014, 18:06   #3568
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Hopefully not jumping the gun too much as we are still at proof reading stage but the EBR2012 draft includes the Bonaparte's records from Barking Bay in May. Also noticed two Ring Billed Gull of Steve's from Pitsea in February the same year that should be added to the previous comments.

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Old Saturday 20th September 2014, 11:18   #3569
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Barred Warbler

Saw the Barred Warbler in Gunner's Park Shoebury this morning, showed well at about 11.20 in the hawthorn bushes attached to the apple tree to the north of the concrete apron behind the reserve. Couple of soft photos here - looking forward to seeing some good ones from the guys with the big lenses. Took my Canon SX50 which I can never get a decent shot with, but was close enough I could have used my DSLR which I didn't bother to take as I've only got a 70-300mm lens and didn't think that would be enough reach. Thanks to the chap who let me look through his Swaro, stunning.
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Old Saturday 20th September 2014, 15:40   #3570
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Originally Posted by Debbie1905 View Post
Saw the Barred Warbler in Gunner's Park Shoebury this morning, showed well at about 11.20 in the hawthorn bushes attached to the apple tree to the north of the concrete apron behind the reserve. Couple of soft photos here - looking forward to seeing some good ones from the guys with the big lenses. Took my Canon SX50 which I can never get a decent shot with, but was close enough I could have used my DSLR which I didn't bother to take as I've only got a 70-300mm lens and didn't think that would be enough reach. Thanks to the chap who let me look through his Swaro, stunning.
Nice shots, looks like you did well in challenging light. Great bird and hats off to the finder.

7 Common Scoter on the Thames at East Tilbury this morning, 29 Brent Geese flew up river were the first of Autumn for me. A juv hobby and kingfisher gave lovely views the former affording a stunning flypast despite the murk.

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Old Monday 22nd September 2014, 08:18   #3571
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The Naze was good yesterday - birds everywhere. Heavy pipit passage throughout our visit including a couple of tree pips, whinchat running around with the wagtails in the carpark, and warblers everywhere. Other visitors we met had had spot fly, gropper and wryneck. Personal highlights were a woodlark at about 10.15, north and low, and bumping into some ringers as they caught the attached. Nice couple of hours.
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Old Monday 22nd September 2014, 14:19   #3572
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Was certainly a busy morning yesterday - the sort of day I feel really fortunate to be able to watch the spectacle at close quarters. Mipits were almost taking our heads off as they came in over the house, whilst some the raptors gave crippling views as they passed. Was slightly curious at the lack of Mipit reports from other sites (e.g. only 150 at The Naze and no specific mention at Bradwell) but presumably passage was on a very broad front. My observations were of a northerly movement along the coast initially before immigration became most prominent, some birds then moving up the coast but most heading straight inland. Total counted 1131 with small numbers still moving late in the afternoon.

Presumably the Woodlark was the same bird at The Naze and Frinton, with a pause somewhere along the way, but then again could easily have been two birds.

Personal highlights were the Great White Egret very high over the coastal strip and circling over the bottom of Connaught Avenue before paying Holland Haven scrape a brief visit, a BoP bonanza with multiple Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Hobby and single Marsh Harrier, Merlin, Red Kite and SEO, but for spectacle it had to be the humble Mipit..

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Old Monday 22nd September 2014, 19:54   #3573
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The Naze was good yesterday - birds everywhere. Heavy pipit passage throughout our visit including a couple of tree pips, whinchat running around with the wagtails in the carpark, and warblers everywhere. Other visitors we met had had spot fly, gropper and wryneck. Personal highlights were a woodlark at about 10.15, north and low, and bumping into some ringers as they caught the attached. Nice couple of hours.
Glad someone was seeing stuff, everything seemed to be avoiding me. Admittedly, I did have single Redstart, Whinchat and a couple of Stonechats but, Mipits aside, the place seemed devoid of birds. As for warblers, I had 1 Willow, 2 Lesser Whitethroats and 4 Chiff Chaff. Flycatchers don't exist this year!
Still be back next week though.

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Old Tuesday 23rd September 2014, 15:27   #3574
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I notice that EBWS requires "notes" for woodlark. So to whom would I submit those notes and is "it went north calling like a woodlark because it was one" sufficient?
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Old Wednesday 24th September 2014, 11:09   #3575
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I notice that EBWS requires "notes" for woodlark. So to whom would I submit those notes and is "it went north calling like a woodlark because it was one" sufficient?
Submission of sightings should be sent to the County Recorder, who I believe is still Les Steward. His address is 6 Creek View, Basildon, SS16 4RU. Email: [email protected]. Pages 4 and 165 of the most recent Essex Bird Report provide guidelines for submission.

Basically, it is best if you submit all the records you wish to submit at the end of the year, on an Excel spreadsheet of 5 columns: species; location; number; date; and comment. Where a description is asked for, put it in the comment column.

For your Woodlark, perhaps you could make some comment about features you saw in flight (say, tail pattern, wing shape and size, etc), plus some commemt about the call and the number of times it called. (I'm aware that descriptions of calls can often involve some weird combination of letters - 'sweeeeechet, sweeeechet! (which is not my attempt to imitate a Woodlark, by the way!)). Also how close to you was the bird? It might also be worth mentioning that Paul Brayshaw saw the same, or another, bird on the same day - indicating that passage of Woodlark was taking place.

Hope this helps. Others might like to add comments.

Stewart

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