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Monday, 15 September 2014

Valley - Rainham Circuit

September 15th

As part of the latest fitness regime I am taking to the bike to try and decrease my waistline, dieting and exercise is the only way at 57, I can’t bloody run anymore, how long it will last is anyone’s guess.
I am even going to get some proper bike riding gear although I refuse to wear Lycra shorts at my age, something’s are just not English, older men and  Lycra is not the done thing I’m afraid.

Anyway back to the circuit, I started in the Valley, still 25 House Martins overhead near the Hospital but first port of call was the Viewing Area.
6 Black Tailed Godwits, 2 Snipe, Little Egret were present along with good numbers of Lapwing and Teal.

Black Tailed Godwit - Viewing Area

Next stop was Ingrebourne Hill , I covered most of it on the bike but pretty quiet although I did have 3 calling Yellow Wagtails over, these were a year tick so good news, the one bird I have failed to see much this year is Tree Pipit. Never a common migrant at the Valley, I have not even seen one at Rainham.

By now I was warmed up and I doubt if Bradley Wiggins would have caught me as I headed for Rainham, riding through the western Marsh produced 4 Kestrels, 2 Common Buzzards and a brief Marsh Harrier seen over the Silts.

Distant Kestrel, very clean likely a juvenile

Pressing on next was the Serin mound, here I found 2 Whinchat’s and a Stonechat, the first since last winter, hopefully their numbers are on the up again.

Stonechat - a welcome sight.

Plenty of Linnet and Goldfinch as I headed down past Aveley Bay, a few Black Tailed Godwits could be seen in the glare but little else in the way of waders.

Heading towards the Barges I then got very very lucky and came across a Guillemot on the Essex side, it was right opposite the Erith Wind Turbine and was slowly making its way up river, a site tick no less. The only other one I have had was in Barking Bay a couple of winters ago if I remember correctly, rather unusual to see one in bright sunshine and not weather related. Saying that I suspect the recent north easterlies have pushed it in.

Rather unusual on a bright day - Guillemot

Moving on I came to an area just before the Barges, there were also 200+ large Gulls sitting on the rocks and the river, not good news for the Guillemot heading this way.

Another 2 Whinchat were located on the Tip as I turned for home, very little else was seen on the return leg other than good numbers of Gadwall.


  1. By cutting out your intake of sweets, beer and fast food also helps Dave. Good on you for joining the fit club!

  2. You been talking to my Mum Shaun? Will remind you of what you have said at the next Birders drink when your tucking into your Kebab after all the Real Ale.
    See you on Wednesday for Paul's Birthday Meal - so much for the Diet.

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