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Saturday, 4 September 2010

Rainham Marshes Sept 4th

Met up with Paul and Jono just after dawn at the top car park, with the change in wind direction, we were hopeful of some migrants along Aveley Bay foreshore.Other than a contact calling Chiffchaff, nothing materialised so we turned our attention to the river.
On the mud Black Tailed Godwit, Redshank, 2 Ringed Plover present along with an Oystercatcher.As we scanned the river a very large head appeared which turned out to be a bull Grey Seal drifting in with the tide
Bull Grey Seal having a breather
Whilst looking at the Seal we picked up a distant flock of waders on the Kent side, they were eventually flushed by a boat and came over giving reasonable views, in total there was 3 Knot and 39 Dunlin, a good start to the morning.After this it got even better with a wader picked up by Paul, we all got on it and it turned out to be a Curlew Sandpiper, it was one of the birds we were hoping for as there had been an influx.
Knot and Dunlin flock
11 Common Terns were then noted moving up river, Whimbrel calling,  2 Common Sandpipers on the waterline, 7 Wigeon which were fresh in with 12 Yellow Wagtails overhead.
I then entered the reserve and walked straight onto a calling Bearded Tit, missed earlier in the year so very welcome, got Paul and Jono onto it as well.I carried on and they walked the foreshore up to the Stone Barges.
No raptors of note other than a male Peregrine sitting on his usual pylon, a female Sparrowhawk flushed 2 Green Sandpipers by Aveley Pools.The pools produced 2 Pintail, the first in for the winter, 3 Whinchat on the bullrushes, many Shoveler and Teal.At least 6 Little Egrets as well as 2 Greenshank and 2 Common Snipe made it a very good wader day.


Carried on from here along the boardwalk and came across a calling Water Rail which eventually showed just enough to get a couple of shots off.

Water Rail

I then walked the woodland and cordite area looking for migrants, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Lesser Whitethroat and Reed Warbler all recorded but again no Spotted Flycatcher.
A Migrant Hawker then gave me the challenge of trying to photograph it in flight, never easy as they dont seem to stay still long enough and it is hard trying to get a lock on them with the auto focus, must have fired off 50 shots.Eventually got a half decent photo, after this decided to call it a day, a very good morning.

Migrant Hawker

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dave
    Great pic of the Water Rail. One of the species I am hoping to nail this winter. Hope I do as well!