Archive for September 24, 2014

A promising morning and off for a local RSPB walk around Crayford Marsh. Our route would take us out alongside the River Darent to its meeting with the River Thames.

The route took us past the site of Howbury Manor, of which now only the moated enclosure remains.

The remains of Howbury Manor

The remains of Howbury Manor

On the marsh there were lots of small bird activity and large numbers of Woodpigeon, Collared Dove and Ring-necked Parakeets. A single whitethroat was found together with a Chiffchaff and a brief sighting of a Little Owl (although I didnt see either of these).

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The water level in the River was quite low and there were small groups of Teal and a number of Little Egrets.

LIttle Egret

LIttle Egret

Just before we reached the mouth of the river, a seal was spotted swimming in the river and another was seen lounging on the mud at the side of the Thames

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At The mouth of the river was a collection of gulls including Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed and Greater Black-backed. On the opposite side of the river-mouth a group of waders included Ringed Plover, Redshank and a single Dunlin. One wader on the mud was the subject of much discussion but was eventually identified as a Knot. Also present on the Thames were Wigeon and Mallard. A family of Stonechats passed by through the riverside vegetation.

Cartaxo - Saxicola torquata - Common Stonechat
Stonechat
Photo by Jose Sousa (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jsousa/)

It was now time to retrace our steps. At the river mouth the gulls had been joined by a single Yellow-legged Gull and a Cormorant. Some people on the walk spotted a Sparrowhawk (I was looking the wrong way again). A brief stop was made to look to see if the Little Owl had returned to its previous perch, but without luck. A final stop at Howbury moat added Mute Swan, Coot and Morrhen to bring my morning total to 45 species.

Grey Heron and Moorhen

Grey Heron and Moorhen

Also seen were Red Admiral, Speckled Wood and Common Darter

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

An excellent mornings walk

Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Red Knot [sp] (Calidris canutus)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Yellow-legged Gull [sp] (Larus michahellis)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)