After surveying locally I popped into the Reserve for my usual circuit, with winter birding just around the corner the reserve really comes to life.
I have always preferred winter birding, probably like a lot of birders, there is so much more on offer in regard to waders, wildfowl and of course raptors.
The survey I am doing locally relates to low and high tide surveys on the Thames, as yet there are not many Black Tailed Godwits upriver, October and colder weather should herald an arrival. I did locate 92 Redshank on the survey scoped from across river at Fords, a pre roost gathering just about to jump up on the sea wall to roost.
|The roost at Crossness River Wall - Redshank at the base
Arriving at Rainham and I walked straight out to the sea wall and scoped the other side, a good sized flock of 31 Ringed Plover and 6 Black Tailed Godwits was a good start. Along the sea wall I also came across a Kestrel, very approachable although it looked as if she had a damaged leg the way she carried it.On closer inspection of the photos as she took off it looks as if she might have a bit of Bumblefoot with some lumpy swelling inside the foot, hopefully it will clear up and she won’t lose condition.
|Right hand foot looks lumpy
Entering the Reserve produced the regular juvenile Marsh Harrier seen distantly quartering over Wenningtom Marsh and a very large passage of Swallows, House and Sand Martins. I popped into the ‘Baillon’s hide, it had not been seen all morning, I still have had only one sighting of it on that Saturday when it came to light, me and Shaun were lucky at dawn, Paul and Martin had to spend 10 hours in the hide to see it.I am pretty laid back when it comes to getting a tick, I can take it or leave it, I have missed many London ticks as I always seem to have something else to do.Allthough I keep a London and Rainham list I tend not to beat myself and fret if I don’t get to see it, it’s probably an age thing. Fair play to the people who spent hours and in some cases consecutive days getting to see the Crake, I admire their patience, I have not got none, if I did 10 hours you would have been carting me off to an institution.
Leaving the hide I headed for the Pools, Wigeon numbers are creeping up with 26 seen, waders seen were 3 Greenshank, 5 overflying Ruff, 14 Snipe, 6 Black Tailed Godwits and a Ringed Plover.
No Pintail as yet but one or two should be arriving soon.
|Female Sparrowhawk getting fiesty with a Crow recently in London
Walking round to the centre I finished the morning off with a cheese and onion toastie, I think this
is likely to stop soon, as much as I like the food, my ever expanding waistline and RSPB prices will put a stop to it.
A good morning’s birding.