So far this year locally, the birding has been good in terms of spring migrants; Rainham in particular has delivered pretty well.
Of late, when I have had time, I have put in some early morning visits that have proved very productive.
The best birds so far for me at Rainham, other than the unfortunate deceased Razorbill, were probably the combination of Red breasted Merganser, Knot and Bar Tailed Godwit in Aveley Bay found by Paul.
The Mergs were likely the hardest of the trio to catch up with; I can probably count on one hand how many I have seen at Rainham over the years.
A good bird that I did not get to see was the Stone Curlew; however you can’t see them all so quite happy with proceedings so far.
The fact that last year I finished the year on 122 and this year am already up to 118, speaks for itself, hopefully a sign of some more good birds to come on the Reserve.
Ingrebourne Valley has also got off to a good start with 89 species, to date the best birds I suppose would rank as Greenshank, Mandarin Duck, Grasshopper Warbler and Bearded Tit for me.
Red Kite has eluded me, as it has at the other patches, the Valley has seen 5 of these cracking raptors go through this year.
The viewing area is looking good and as long as the river doesn’t burst its banks again, the mud that is showing may well attract more waders.
|Grasshopper Warbler - Ingrebourne Valley|
Barking is a relatively small patch that I cover but nonetheless still provides some good birds at the Outfall or on the Thames Water site.
The Barn Owls continue to hold on despite massive works and changes to the site which is great news, it just goes to show how site faithful they are.
One of the highlights recently other than the birding has been a regular Harbour Seal; I suspect it is there mainly due to the presence of the fish which feed at the Outfall. Whatever the reason it is a welcome sight to see one this far up the Thames.
The list goes well on 69 species for the year, surprisingly not one Hirundine has been seen but it is early days yet.