I have been away for just over a month, a break for me and some convalescence for my wife.
During the time away and in reflection of the serious illness my wife had endured this year and thank God, is still recovering from, I have made a conscious decision to devote more time to my family and therefore to cancel some of my interests in wildlife conservation and recording etc.
So it is with sadness I will not be adding any updates or recordings to the website ‘The Brickfield Birder’.
I will leave past information recorded intact for your future viewing.
I will still continue to go Birdwatching and visit local sites, so I hope to see you around.
Thank you for your understanding.
Goodbye and God Bless.
9th September 20012
Tuesday 10th July 2012
Well there’s no need to tell you about the weather, just to say about a month’s worth of rain fell in our area on Sunday, just over 25mm (1 inch approx.) for an average July rainfall, that is.....What a splash!
The Havering branch of the Essex Wildlife Trust ( E.W.T.) organised an evening event over Brickfields & Franks Wood last night, which was booked a few months ago. Well on a normal mid – July evening, it should be a pleasantly warm evening full of bird song, flowering wild plants and dancing Butterflies ....not in 2012 it’s not. Stout walking boots or Wellington boots, anorak’s and waterproofs were the order of the evening. Under leaden skies, sixteen hearty souls lead by Tony Gunton, warden, from the nearby Cranham Marsh nature reserve, did a circular walk around Cranham Brickfields and Franks Wood. Very soggy underfoot. We went through identifying all sorts of Flora & Fauna, including some colourful mushrooms, see pictures. An enjoyable evening with good company, very soggy underfoot, but who cares, it was rain free! Will next time be drier?
Bye for now.
Click on picture to enlarge
Tony talking to the group about Franks Wood I'll have to ask Tony for the I.D....should have paid more attention!
Monday 25th June 2012
Hi Friends and thanks Benedict for the kind comments.
From time to time visitors ask me if there are any events that take place over the reserve...So what I will do is this..... I will put any events that have been arranged to take place over Brickfields L.N.R or locally related wildlife events, on this website’s notice board. Unfortunately there is no notice board over Brickfields to pin anything to. I have in the past pinned up notice sheets in plastic wallets, but they either get ripped down or defaced, perhaps that why there's no Notice board!
The event that was organised by the Safer Neighbourhood Team (Police) on Saturday 23rd was very successful. This was to clear up all the rubbish that flytippers and others dump in the nice wooded walk through at the bottom of Moor Lane, Cranham. A skip was filled and taken away and about twenty or more local people lent a hand. Thanks to the Moor Lane church who opened their doors for refreshments and toilets. Well done to all who helped to keep Cranham green & clean !
It was a lovely day, the rain kept off, so many Butterflies were out, mainly Speckled wood and the birds were singing.
Oh and England are out of the Euro's on penalties again.(Sunday 26th)......woe is me.
Bye for now
Wednesday 20th June
This morning I took a trip out to the R.S.P.B reserve at Rainham Marsh to meet up with Howard Vaughan ( RSPB, information officer at Rainham )on his Wednesday morning walk and some of my other birding buddies. Great place to see birds that you probably won’t see over Brickfields like the Marsh Harrier I saw there this morning. After a good walk round the reserve we all have a cuppa together in the centre and pick up the local bird gossip around Essex. Over the last couple of weeks a few Barn Owls have seen around Rainham, Hornchurch, Upminster and over Cranham Marsh......So about 7pm off I go to Brickfields, did I see any Barn Owls...nah !
However standing on the Pond dipping platform watching a singing chiffchaff and a Blackcap I could hear a splashing sound behind me, which appeared to come from an overflow drainage ditch. So I went over to see and there in a very large puddle in the ditch were fish! They were stranded in about three inches of water ( see pictures) as the overflow drainage ditch which had been full because of the heavy rainfall recently had now done it job of collecting excess water and the water had soaked away naturally, leaving the fish stranded and nearly high and dry !
A quick dash home for my Wellington boots, small fish net and bucket! This takes me back about fifty years, tiddler catching over Wanstead Park!
So after an emergency fish evacuation I managed to rescue 27 fish, all Rudd, oh and one Smooth Newt. I didn’t rescue him really, he could have just walked away at any time!
Where are they now.....all put in the pond ! I’m going to find out where they had come from because the ditches are to prevent flooding of the land. Water from the pond does not fill up the ditches, the water comes from streams and small rivers locally.... it's a mystery to me!
Click on picture to enlarge
The Ditch where the fish were stranded, the depth being approx 3'' Some of the fish (Rudd) being put into the pond.
Friday 15th June 2012
The overnight rain as stopped and a bit of brightness prevails.
So instead of birdwatching I did a bit of bug hunting. I’m still practicing with my new camera on macro mode. You can really get close ups on the little critters, pick out the fine details and suddenly they have a beauty of their own!
Like this little Cricket, it’s not a grasshopper.
Mind you I have to get my insect book out to identify some of them. See the couple of photo’s below. Yes I hear you say, that’s a Ladybird, I know that! Ahh.... so which Ladybird is it then?
Did you know there are about 26 different types of Ladybirds in the U.K. So they say!
Click on the picture to enlarge
11- spot ladybird shown Bush Cricket White shouldered House Moth
There is a big community clean up event in Moor Lane,Cranham on Saturday 23rd June......I'm going along to lend a hand and to find what Wildlife abounds ! Lets keep Cranham Green & Clean ! SEE the Notice board for details.
Bye for now.
Sunday June 10th
After Friday’s gale force winds I was half expecting some serious Tree damage, only because of the unseasonal gales battering the trees which are nearly in full leaf. Not like the winter high winds or the old ‘March winds’ where the trees are bare!
Well I only found one tree down near the Pond, but it does party block a small path, which is already overgrown. The other sad thing it has flattened the lovely Yellow Flag Iris (Iris Psudacorus). The water Iris can be a bit invasive, so cutting it back a bit is not all bad news, however I love the splash of colour it brings to the pond. I didn’t walk through Franks Wood so I don’t know if there is any damage there.
Quite a pleasant walk around this morning, great to see the sun shining again. The birds were singing and in good voice. A nice Song Thrush was singing, others included Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Whitethroats. Two Cuckoo’s calling as well, calling to each other across the reserve, sounded like two males, the female has an ‘bubbling trill’ sometimes when excited, with the well known “goo-ku”. The best viewing though, were a pair of Bullfinches. That would be nice if they bred there! Except from the birds that were singing, other birds seen, Jay, Blackbird, Wren, Dunnock, Green Woodpecker and a nice mixed party of (3) Great tits, (2) Blue tits and (3) Long tailed tits feeding together flying from tree to tree. Four Mallards flew over the pond, didn’t stop though. The pair of Moorhen and their two fast growing young was still there.
Enjoy your week, Bye for now.
Picures of the damaged Tree : Click on photo's to enlarge
Tuesday 5th June 2012
After another wet period on Sunday (3rd), I thought I'll take a couple of pictures of the Pond ( yesterday) with the most amount of water I've seen in it. It really makes a difference, it's a shame the sun didn't appear, even briefly, it would have made the colours of the water plants look beautiful. The Newt sculpture has it's leg and tail in the water,looks just like it's trying to creep out on to the platform. Just as a reminder, look at the pond's water level in October 2011 before the Newt sculpure was installed.See the last picture. Click on pictures to enlarge. oh nearly forgot...I heard a Cuckoo at last, I know probably they have been there for a good few weeks now, but it's the fact I have not,but that's my loss !
For the second year the Moorhens have breed and two young are doing well and that's all the young I could see. The pair probably breed more than two and I suppose may have lost others to predators.
Bye for now
The Diamond Jubilee 1952 – 2012
Congratulations Ma'am !!!
Birdwatching over Brickfields? or was it a day at the races?
can't remember now !
28th May 2012
On the 8th May I took a little trip over to Warley Place, hopefully to take a few pictures of Nuthatches feeding on the feeders as I know they often do there....Not on this day they didn't... here is the pictures to prove it ! but a Greenfinch family found room.
Click on the picture to enlarge.
Grey Squirrel with eyes that mean it ! The cute poser look to win you over The Greenfinches, adult and Juveniles
23rd May 2012
Let’s start in April, was Spring cancelled due to rain? Well records were broken, the wettest April for a hundred years so they say! 109.5mm which is just over 4 ¼ inches to old codgers like me. I took a couple of photo’s of the pond (April 30th) well that’s the most water I have seen in the pond, even the Newt wood carving has its tail in the water, this is just what the sculptor had in mind, the Newt just coming out of the water onto dry land! nice touch. It was difficult to walk around the reserve, definitely welly boots, if you go off the paths. A lot of the ground water had gathered off the paths, which had been just a walk through in early March. Well it was originally marsh land any way. Spring migrants were slow coming in, but did arrive in small numbers, over a longer period of time, the Chiffchaffs, Common Whitethroat, Willow Warblers and Blackcaps, more and more Blackcaps are ‘over wintering’ in this country, but I don’t recall hearing or seeing any Blackcaps wintering at Brickfields in the last five years. I have not heard a Cuckoo this year over Brickfields. Unless you have?
Managed to take a picture of a Common Whitethroat (May 4th).
Common Whitethroat having a sing ! click on to enlarge