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Saturday, 8 September 2012

Rainham RSPB

September 7/8th

On Friday morning I headed to Ingrebourne Hill at dawn planning for some viz migging, with the weather at present I was also hoping for some migrant raptors. After 2 hours I had little to show other than a nice Whinchat, 3 Yellow Wagtails and 7 Ring necked Parakeets. Not exactly mind blowing so I headed for Rainham hoping for some stimulation, I followed my usual pattern of the river and then onto the Reserve.
There was very little to see on the river, good numbers of Yellow Legged Gulls, the only waders on show were singles of Common Sandpiper and Ringed Plover.
Entering the reserve showed Migrant Hawkers just about everywhere, is it me or are there far more this year? The little dragons had also pulled in a number Hobbies, I counted a definite 6 by the time I arrived at Aveley Pools. The bright skies had also made it perfect for thermaling; I also added 2 Sparrowhawks and 3 Kestrels along with a peregrine.
Lots of interaction between the Kestrels and Hobbies but I was unable to get any real decent shots owing to the lens malfunctioning. I have a Sigma 120-400mm about 3 years old, unfortunately although it locks on to something it will not hold it in focus, off to the menders on Monday hopefully not too costly.

After getting what shots I could I checked Aveley Pools, 7 Wigeon heralded the start of winter along with 16 Snipe, and 2 Yellow Wagtails were also heard going over. To top the morning off I had a Common Buzzard as I left site, it looked very good for a juvenile with no moult. There was a time at this time of year that you would think that most Common Buzzards seen were migrants, pleased to say, not any more with many now as localised breeders.

Seen over the garden on the 6th, migrant Buzzards or locals?

This juvenile female is becoming a regular in the garden

A very good visit not withstanding my knackered lense, little did I know what the morning would bring…..

For a good few years now all the local birders meet in the Railway for a knees up and a Kebab after, this takes place on the 1st Friday of each month. A good way into the evening news came from Howard of a Baillon’s Crake at Rainham, many of us are volunteers so all of us decided to help out and be on site in the morning around 5.40am.Obviously we all wanted to see the bird, so we all made our way there in the morning a little worse for wear in some cases.
I was one of the lucky ones who managed to see it early on Saturday morning for a short period, it refused to show itself throughout the rest of the day, evening should be a good bet and hopefully all will get to see it.

A full up new hide waiting for the Baillon's Crake to show

There was probably around a 100 birders inside at one time

Well done to Howard for opening the reserve at dawn on Saturday and making it all happen, and a very well done to the lady who showed the photos too Howard knowing that she had something different.

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