Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Part of the Waxwing flock at Lakeside Thurrock today - a good bird to see on 1 January, and indeed any time.
New year, new year list. I was out at dawn on my Rainham Marshes patch this morning, working the West Marsh and stone barges area first. At the barges I met up with Chris and Pete Langsdon, who'd started the day well with Short-eared Owl and a first-winter Caspian Gull - two species we weren't to see again. But it was an excellent day nonetheless, with the more notable sightings including an immature female Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, c40 European Golden Plover, 23 Eurasian Curlew roosting over high tide, a Jack Snipe and 20+ Common Snipe on the saltings, a single first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, 3+ Rock Pipits, Grey Wagtail (not easy here), 2 European Stonechats, 4+ Cetti's Warblers, Goldcrest and 2 Corn Buntings - my personal total was a very respectable 69 species at the end of the day. A half-hour diversion early afternoon east to Lakeside Thurrock added a 70th in the form of Waxwing, a flock of 120 or so feeding in plantings around the Costco car park. As starts to the year go, it was a good one.

Some of the birds were feeding on low plantings about three feet above the ground, for nice eye-level views.
This is the main part of the flock - guess the number visible, then count them and see how close you were.

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