Saturday, October 15, 2011

Should I stay or should I go

The weather looks good for migration along the eastern part of the country, there have been rarities in Norfolk and a good passage of birds along the Essex coast, what should I do, stay local or hit the coast. The Essex coast has been beckoning me for some time (I used to be a regular at The Naze), but Leyton Orient are playing at home, and we are on a roll, we have won our last two games and wins are rare. I can't do both, not enough time. Also I like to think of myself as a bit of an ornithologist, I like see to rare and unusual birds but patterns, movements and numbers are of more interest to me. Eventually the clear skies made up my mind (perhaps the party maybe be over on the Essex coast). go to the Dock in the morning and football in the afternoon.
Arrived at EIDB early just after dawn and it was evident that trying assign birds flying over to species level was going to be very difficult. There were birds moving but they were tiny dots in the clear blue sky, even Woodpigeons were barely visible and the ambient noise here makes picking up calls tricky. Fortunately there was some movement along the Thames, two Arctic Terns flew west and an adult Common Tern, the latest date for this species at the site. There was a continued movement in one's and two's (and mainly 1st winters) of Common Gulls with at least 45 counted. Two Great Crested Grebes flew over amazingly my first record this year and a Common Buzzard flew west fairly low over the river.
I did see a few small birds in flight, 69 Goldfinch (record count) a few Greenfinches and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. So an interesting visit, a record count, some late records and a first for the year, all I need now is the O's to win, but I wonder what was on the Essex coast.

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