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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Essex Birding (2 Viewers)

Without any low cloud / rain the forecasted winds probably aren't strong enough to push anything in to the Thames, and if it's sunny watching off Canvey can be horrendous.

Never watched from the Naze personally, although I know people have watched / do watch from Walton pier. I would imagine that the car park area at the Naze would be OK, and you can always have a wander around the bushes after you've given up with the sea! ;)

In other news, an adult Common Crane was on the scrape at Wat Tyler for 90 mins this morning before flying SE at around 10.40. It was apparently also seen and heard flying over Wat Tyler and dropping down towards Bowers Marshes yesterday afternoon / evening so could still be in the area.
 
Reasonably strong easterlies with a slight northerly element to them forecast all weekend. Where would people go for an in-county seawatch? Considering the Naze, but even then I'm unsure of the best spot to watch from. Maps suggest that the carpark/tower area might work best. (If there's anything to see at all).

Always found the Naze hopeless for seawatching. Much better in my opinion is Holland Haven, they've even got a shelter.

Phil
 
Possibly sea watching will be better with this batch of easterlies as they extend further east which might provoke some wildfowl to move out of the Baltic area. However some cloud and rain would help! If stuff is moving then anywhere along the naze to holland coast will be ok - different conditions and days see slightly different flight paths - birds moving north into an easterly will be closer off Frinton-haven and then head out past walton pier and cut across to orfordness - particularly if good visibility.. I'll be watching from the balcony when I can so feel free to
Touch base if at Frinton. Good birding

Ps commiserations to Stewart got the red breasted goose - I was fortunate to peer through the scope at the right time...
 
Since the disappearance of the long-staying Wilson's Phalarope, we seem to be experiencing a string of scarce birds that appear and then, for various reasons, are not to be seen again. The Great Grey Shrike that Steve and Viv discuss is one, and before that there was Pallas's Warbler, Black Kite, Dartford Warbler, etc. None of these have proved 'twitchable' and today was the turn of a Rose-coloured Starling. Reported from East Mersea this morning (absolutely reliably I'm sure), this juvenile bird wasn't to to seen this afternoon. At least not by Neil Chambers and myself, who trudged around the local fields and must have looked through flocks of about 200 Starlings - all to no avail.

Stewart
 
Hi Stewart,
Good to meet you earlier. Just to add that I did see a 'pale brown' starling with the flock, albeit briefly and in flight, but it appeared to have pale whitish wings which lead me to think it was a leucistic Common Starling.
I make no comment on the original report (other than the observer is reliable as Stewart says), and as I didn't definitely see this bird again, and with there being several smaller mobile flocks, a RcS could easily have eluded us.
Fingers crossed it puts in a reappearance and proves a little easier to see!
 
The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling continues its stay on East Mersea. This isn't a particularly easy bird to catch up with. However, I did manage to see it this morning, just before 10am, when it showed in trees surrounding the garden of the house by the entrance to Coopers Beach holiday resort. This is a location to which the bird returns daily. The owners of the house (who, by the way, are extremely amenable to birders) have plenty of feeders in the garden. This said, the bird clearly disappears elsewhere for much of the time and, following a report later today, it is joining other starlings to feed in nearby stubble fields. I would like to report that today's views in the garden were 'gripping', but I fear that they were less so ('non-gripping'? 'ungripping'?)

Today seems to have been a busy day in Essex: a Black-eared Wheatear that seems to have become a Northern Wheatear (that's happened before); a probably Radde's Warbler that has become a probable Dusky Warbler (hopefully more developments on this); and a mini influx of Great Grey Shrikes (can anyone provide a little more detail on precisely where the Heybridge Basin bird is being seen?) Interesting day!

Stewart
 
Hi Stewart

Heybridge GGS location as per the yahoogroups email, which themselves came from John Buchanan on Facebook:

"The GG Shrike was found by Simon Wood this morning and has been around the southern end of Heybridge Pit. Best to park at Daisy Lane Car Park (CM9 4RP) and then cross over the canal at the lock gates and walk along the sea wall. It was fairly flighty, ranging over a fair distance but main area favoured was the bushes at the Southern corner- ie where the bench is- but may move towards the reedbed"
 
Certainly a good couple days with the weather improving enough for migrants to arrive and/or be found following the NE airflow and rain. I felt for those working The Naze as the amount of birds in a very small section of the Frinton undercliff was incredible, plus heavy finch passage along the coast and thrushes arriving off the sea. I probably only got 200m away from the house in either direction on both Saturday and Sunday, covering about 100m in two hours! And that gave sightings of Dartford Warbler, Great Grey Shrike, multiple Firecrest, two Woodlark, lots of Brambling, at least four SEO and a Pallas’s Warbler (plus Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat and Willow Warbler..) Shame the Pallas's didn't hang around for general consumption today with so many Goldcrests to sort through I wonder what else was lurking - at least two observers had v brief views of a possible Yellow-Brow today... The conditions overnight must have been challenging for the birds as the two sodden and tired Short-eared Owls on the undercliff looked like they had just about made it over the beach huts (interesting to note a similarly wet and tired bird seen at Colne Point).

Curiously very few finches reported from The Naze on Saturday – I would have expected similar totals to Frinton (although Landguard always seems to miss the northerly movements, presumably as birds follow the Essex coastline and cross the Orwell upriver from there). I haven’t checked back but suspect the Goldfinch count (2674) is my highest daily total – that compares to 120+ reported by Brian Combes at The Naze… Perhaps the added northerly element in the wind meant birds were more inclined to cut across Hamford Water? Always something more to try to understand! Good luck to those out tomorrow.

Regards

Paul
 
Was driving up the B1026 just after 7.30 this morning and was approaching Goldhanger village when the characteristic gangly frame of a Glossy Ibis came flapping into view and past the car! It looked like it may have not long taken off, and looked like it was going to land, but I couldn't refind it in a quick search.

Onto East Mersea for attempt no. 4 at the Rose-coloured Starling, and finally connected after 45 mins or so in one of the tall trees bordering the church car park. It flew off over the churchyard a couple of times, and returned, and I understand it was still present at 9.45ish. A few bits and bobs flying over, single Brambling and redpoll sp. were the best of the bunch.

To round off a good couple of hours I just had time to pop into Heybridge on the way back to find the Great Grey Shrike showing well in the bushes at the southern end of the gravel pits.
 
Was driving up the B1026 just after 7.30 this morning and was approaching Goldhanger village when the characteristic gangly frame of a Glossy Ibis came flapping into view and past the car! It looked like it may have not long taken off, and looked like it was going to land, but I couldn't refind it in a quick search.

Onto East Mersea for attempt no. 4 at the Rose-coloured Starling, and finally connected after 45 mins or so in one of the tall trees bordering the church car park. It flew off over the churchyard a couple of times, and returned, and I understand it was still present at 9.45ish. A few bits and bobs flying over, single Brambling and redpoll sp. were the best of the bunch.

To round off a good couple of hours I just had time to pop into Heybridge on the way back to find the Great Grey Shrike showing well in the bushes at the southern end of the gravel pits.

After three abortive visits to East Mersea, you deserved a bit of luck; and then you got a streak of good luck! Well done. There's a good number of salt marsh channels in that area where the Glossy Ibis might have gone to. Certainly worth a walk along a north bank of the Blackwater some time.

At Wrabness this morning, I watched the Velvet Scoter which was well over on the Essex side of the Stour - south east of buoy 5.

Stewart
 
After three abortive visits to East Mersea, you deserved a bit of luck; and then you got a streak of good luck! Well done. There's a good number of salt marsh channels in that area where the Glossy Ibis might have gone to. Certainly worth a walk along a north bank of the Blackwater some time.

At Wrabness this morning, I watched the Velvet Scoter which was well over on the Essex side of the Stour - south east of buoy 5.

Stewart

the main path leadind to the front, what bouy is that and which way do you walk, east or west to go up in numbers?
 
the main path leadind to the front, what bouy is that and which way do you walk, east or west to go up in numbers?

Well, you can park in the EWT reserve or, as I usually do, drive down Wall Lane and park at the end (not much room to park, but usually OK). I usually head to the right and watch from where the steps lead down to the sand. Buoy 5 is more or less straight across in the river from that point. The buoy numbers go up in number west, towards Manningtree. All this said, any duck or grebe on the river can move around quite a bit. A few days ago, the Velvet Scoter was way over towards the Suffolk bank, near Stutton Ness, and too distant to give any sort of decent views, even with the best of 'scopes.

Stewart
 
Can anyone confirm if the Rough-legged Buzzard at Holland Haven is still giving close views, or has it found its distance now at the back of the Marsh, (as it seems from messages). Was keen on photographing it but not if it's gone shy.
Thanks.
 
Can anyone confirm if the Rough-legged Buzzard at Holland Haven is still giving close views, or has it found its distance now at the back of the Marsh, (as it seems from messages). Was keen on photographing it but not if it's gone shy.
Thanks.

At mid-day today, the RLB spent much of its time over towards Frinton Golf Course, perched on a fence post about 3/4 of the way towards the back of the marsh. Scope views were OK, but the bird wasn't giving the kind of close views it has done previously. I doubt if the bird has gone 'shy', but rather that prey-pickings might be a bit richer in that area. (Sometimes the bird jumps off the post, attempting to catch a passing rodent.). Earlier in the week, it had been roaming quite far at times, and I suspect that it will continue to give close views for photography, if you're in the right place at the right time.

There, that probably hasn't helped your decision one jot!

This is an absolutley wonderful bird, in glorious creamy pale juvenile plumage. There's a couple of months to go, but this bird has my vote as the Essex bird of the year. One of my favourite pictures of this well-photographed bird is Sean Nixon's image of the bird, with spread wings, about to land on a post. It's the first of his four phtographs on the EBwS website.

Stewart
 
At mid-day today, the RLB spent much of its time over towards Frinton Golf Course, perched on a fence post about 3/4 of the way towards the back of the marsh. Scope views were OK, but the bird wasn't giving the kind of close views it has done previously. I doubt if the bird has gone 'shy', but rather that prey-pickings might be a bit richer in that area. (Sometimes the bird jumps off the post, attempting to catch a passing rodent.). Earlier in the week, it had been roaming quite far at times, and I suspect that it will continue to give close views for photography, if you're in the right place at the right time.

There, that probably hasn't helped your decision one jot!

This is an absolutley wonderful bird, in glorious creamy pale juvenile plumage. There's a couple of months to go, but this bird has my vote as the Essex bird of the year. One of my favourite pictures of this well-photographed bird is Sean Nixon's image of the bird, with spread wings, about to land on a post. It's the first of his four phtographs on the EBwS website.

Stewart
Thanks. I missed an opportunity to photograph the very confiding bird in East Yorkshire last year, (working). That bird was ridiculous when it turned up but increasingly became more wary over time. Just wondered if this was going to be the same and the opportunity had already gone - fresh in, tired, not familiar with its circs. then establishes itself.

Think I'll leave it until I see a recent close shot on the info. services. The last one I've seen dates back to 27th. I'll see what happens Saturday with a view to Sunday.

Thanks.

Edit: Confirmation on Birdguides that today it was always reasonably distant.
 
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