Sunday, 1 February 2015

No duck luck at Bray but direct hits in Essex

Sat 31st Jan 2015

A days birding with Paul F. Our original plan was to stay fairly local and start off at Staines Res and moor. Then maybe over to Bray gravel Pits. I met Paul at Maple Lodge and as it was sleeting quite heavily we decided Staines Res would be a bit too exposed. So we headed off to Bray Gravel Pits near Windsor Racecourse. Here we were hoping to see the drake Ring-necked Duck that had been seen there recently. Paul had seen this duck during the week so fair play to him for going back again. We spent some time going through the Tufties and Pochard but could not find the Ring-necked Duck. As we were having one look through the ducks Paul had a look on RBA to see if anything interesting had been reported. The 2 Serin that were seen in Gunners Park, Essex had been reported again, so after a brief discussion we headed over to sunny Essex. We arrived at Gunners Park about 11:45 and none of the birders we spoke to had seen the Serin. We wandered over to the sea wall. On route there were 4 Little Grebe on one of the pools. On the beach were; Sanderling, Turnstone and Redshank. Walking back to the car Paul checked RBA again and saw that the Serin had been reported at 12:15. The time now was 12:25! We informed a couple of other birders and did our best "twitchy walks" back towards the car park. We joined the other birders and soon connected with a Serin and as we were enjoying good views of this bird another Serin flew in. The birds seemed to be doing a bit of a circuit of the scrub that surrounds the car and occasionally appeared to visit the gardens of nearby houses. From Gunners Park we stopped off briefly along Southend seafront. We knew the pier has Mediterranean Gulls but were hoping we might find one on the beach. Once we had found somewhere to park we were pleasantly surprised to find a Med Gull perched on a groyne.
All the pics on this page are Paul's.


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