The plan this morning was to take a wander around Roding Valley Nature Reserve. But that all changed when Brian texts.
"Are you up"? Yes."Fancy a couple of hours over at Rainham"? Ok
So by 8.30 we are parked up in the Coldharbour Lane car park and heading off along the sea wall. Along the Thames we picked up Redshank, Teal, Dunlin, Ring Plover and Curlew. Rock Pipits were present in double figures with one or two Water Pipits and a handful of Meadow Pipits also seen.
While scanning the reserve feeders the presence of a Ring-necked parakeet was all to obvious, not that I was complaining, I was just happy adding it to my year list.
A scan across the reserve found the Ross's Goose tucked in with the Greylags. A tractor being used on the reserve sends them all into the air, which enables us to get some nice views of the bird in flight.
The weather stayed pretty much the same throughout the morning visit. The skies were grey and the mist never cleared.
On the way home we stopped off at Epping Forest. Strawberry Hill Pond is a good spot for Mandarin Duck, and it didn't disappoint this time either. Up to twenty birds were seen on the quick circuit of the pond.
On the walk back I managed to add Nuthatch and Coal Tit to my year list
So back home, and as I walk through the door and check out the feeders I find a Redpoll sitting on top of one of the bushes. Another tick and the list hits 112.