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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Rainham RSPB

March 20th
A bright morning and out at dawn, hopefully to connect with the Little Ringed Plovers that were seen, and hopefully Wheatears.
I checked Aveley Bay first and located a single Dark Bellied Brent Goose mixed in with the Shelduck at low tide. Also present were a single Curlew, 4 Oystercatchers, 2 Ringed Plovers, 4 Dunlin and 63 Redshank. A good start with the Brent so I headed for the Reserve and did a circuit.
I relocated the Brent Goose again on the Target Pools feeding with Wigeon; I am presuming it was the same bird and also a Tiercel Peregrine in the usual spot.

Dark Bellied Brent Goose

Distant record shot

Pintail are still present with 12 birds seen including a partial leucistic female, no Golden Plover, looks like they have definitely gone.

Partial leucistic female Pintail

Elsewhere around the Reserve I picked up a male Sparrowhawk hunting, at least 9 calling Water Rails, 4 calling Chiffs and at least 7 Little Egrets.
I also heard my first Marsh Frog and good to see 14 Common Snipe in front of the visitor centre.

Reed Bunting


Little Grebe


Not something you see everyday on the Thames, a Paddle Steamer

After this I headed for the Stone Barges to search for the ‘white wingers’, 2 Iceland’s had come up in the morning. I was the only one there and there were bloody thousands of Gulls, I gave it 20 minutes and failed miserably to locate one, there’s just too many and I have not got the patience to stand there forever. As mentioned before, try as I might I just can’t get into them unless there Med’s.
I did see one Water Pipit on the Barges coming into summer plumage, a little stunner, surprisingly there only seemed to be the one.
No LRP’s and no Wheatears but a good morning’s birding none the less.

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