Thursday, 22 January 2015

RSPB Rainham Marshes

Spent seven hours on the reserve today. I walked the circular trail which included going around the woodland twice looking for Bullfinch without success! Then after a pitstop in the visitor centre I walked along the river to the stone barges.

Bird of the day was an immature Caspian Gull on the river between Coldharbour Point and the stone barges. It was with many other gulls who were coming to the river from the adjacent landfill site for a wash and brush up. They never stayed long before flying back to the tip to feed. I spent an hour here watching and it was busy all the time with gulls coming and going, also saw two Yellow-legged Gulls. I struggled here trying to digiscope them without success, having been out for over five hours the cold had set in and I was shivering quite badly. I will try again with my DSLR maybe tomorrow!

At least six Song Thrushes around the woodland, with higher numbers of Blackbirds and just a few Redwings. Cetti's Warblers showed well near the feeding area as did the Brow Rat below.
Brown Rat feeding below the feeders

Two Ravens were seen out in the middle of the marsh, also counted 150+ Dunlin and over 50 Golden Plover on the marsh. A Stoat showed well along the northern boardwalk, but always kept its distance, it did flush a Water Rail in to view and had the company of four scolding wrens!
Rifle butts
 Late morning and the sun came out and I couldn't resist this lapwing which I digiscoped along with the Common Snipes below from Purfleet Hide.
Punky Lapwing

A few Common Snipes around

Moody view across the river
 At Coldharbour Point I couldn't find the recent Water Pipit but this pair of Stonechats were compensation. It was a high tide with very little marginal vegetation above the water level.
Stonechat male at Coldharbour Point

Stonechat female at Coldharbour Point