Been away for a while, but I'm back and hope to stay.
Had a mixed start to the new year. I received a new camera for Christmas, a Sony A55 DSLT. I kept with Sony mainly as I already had a Sigma lens and I felt comfortable with the Sony menus etc. Went to Rainham Marshes on 2nd January and 10 minutes into my visit my new camera destroyed the gears in my lens. The Auto focus ceased to work entirely, and you could just about use manual focus if you were desperate Dan... Which I am not.
Anyway the day got a little better as I saw my first Water Rail (2 in the day), and 3 Barnacle Geese another first. There were 2 Female Bearded Tits near the building site of the new hide, none of which I could get decent shots of, bit frustrating.
Took a trip again to Rainham on Sunday (16th Jan). Didn't take the camera, but did take Morgan (Wife) and Lucy (Daughter). It was busy, probably due to the Slaty Back Gull that had been sighted earlier in the week, but quite a pleasant day, if a little windy.
I saw another first for me, a snipe. And just like London Buses, you wait for one to come along and then four come along at once. I thought I saw one at Rye Meads last year, but due to my old binoculars being a bit rubbish I couldn't be sure. Lucy had a nice walk out, although at 3 years old she hasn't quite grasped walking and talking quietly. A stomp on the boardwalk led to another Water Rail flashing it's tail feathers at me as it ran for the reeds, and me decising it was hopeless seeing anything else with my little angel stamping her feet and repeating "I'm hungry" and "I'm sleepy" over and over again, so I decided to call it a day.
Had a tip off from my Uncle John on Sunday that he had seen an "Odd looking Duck, a bit lanky with a zorro mask on it's eyes" at the lake in Barking Park. I read this as an Egyptian Goose, and hoped that it would still be there when I got a chance to visit today. Although cold there was some lovely sunshine today, so I took my camera down there (Still with broken lens) and tried to get a few shots. Now dissatisfied with what I got, but I'm sure I could do better.
So a pair of Egyptian Goose, around 30 Tufted Duck, and a dozen Shoveller along with the ubiquitous Canada Geese and Mallard all seemingly happy on a horribly polluted lake. I've never seen so much rubbish dumped in a lake, depressing really.