Sunday, 24 April 2016

Rainham Marshes

Spent the morning at RSPB Rainham Marshes, I arrived just before 9am and had only planned to walk around the reserve with my camera & bins. Bad mistake not bringing my scope as before I got out the car I checked the messages on my phone and in the last two hours local birder 'Hawkey' was having a red-letter day on the seawall! From Aveley Bay he had seen a Harbour Porpoise, pair Red-breasted Mergansers, 23 Knot, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 1 Sanderling and a Whinchat.

To the seawall I went, and fortunately Hawky was still there as were the Bar-tailed Godwits and 3 of the Knot, phew! and thanks Paul for the use of your scope. I spent a couple of hours along the riverside, the tide had turned and was coming back in, but sadly the mergansers didn't reappear nor did the Sanderling, 4 Dunlin did though and a female wheatear showed well. On the river there were at least 100 Terns toing and throwing fishing, vast Majority were commons but there were at least three Arctic Terns.
Wheatear on the foreshore
Feeding along the high tide line of debris
Occasionally perching up

On the reserve I spent an hour or so around the woodland area hoping to catch-up with Lesser Whitethroat & Willow Warbler but to no avail. Lots of Whiethroats and Chiffchaffs singing though and good numbers of Blackcaps, both the males and females were almost constantly tacking away making it easy to find them but difficult to photograph, and I never really managed  a half decent effort! Best efforts below.
male Black wouldn't turn around!

male Blackcap wouldn't look my way!

female Blackcap was a little more obliging!

A Robin serenaded me and showed much better than the blackcaps!

All in all a great few hours birding :-)