I popped in after finishing a survey in Kent, first visit of 2011, not year listing Rainham, so just taking it easy trying to do some photography, weather permitting. Having said that, as soon as something rare turns up, I know I will probably go running to tick it. The exception was Dominic’s Slaty Backed Gull, an exceptional find and well done to him for having the patience to go through thousands of Gulls, I know I could not. Just cant get excited over Gulls, one of the reasons may be that I am crap at identifying them, Med Gulls I like.
|Male Reed Bunting|
I walked the foreshore first, a minimum of 9 Rock and one Water Pipit were on the rocks at low tide, looking at the Rocks, there always seems to be some variation, some are definitely paler and recall Water Pipit. Even looking at them every year, the differences can be minimal, you are looking for leg colour, a more prominent supercillium (Water ) and paler underside and flanks, again for Water. Rock Pipit tend to be darker plumage and darker legs.
|To me a Water Pipit, pale flanks, browner above, more prominent wing bars.|
|Rock Pipit - overall a lot darker|
Good numbers of Wigeon and Shelduck on the river and mud, I then made my way to the Reserve. A very enjoyable walk round, unfortunately despite studying every Bullrush, there was no sign of the Penduline Tits that had been seen recently.
|Marsh Harrier - showing the 'shallow V'|
Marsh Harrier – an immature male seen briefly
Lapwing - a flock of around 600
Golden Plover – 17 in with the Lapwings
Little Egret – unusually only 1 seen
Pintail – pair on Target Pools
Cetti’s Warbler – 3 calling
Good to see some species showing the first signs of spring , towards the end of next month, we should start to see some migrants arriving.
|Waxwings - caught up with these just about to go to roost|
|They are everywhere this winter, yet to get one in decent light, cant complain though.|