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Sunday, 6 October 2019

Rainham RSPB

October 3rd

After last month’s visit after an absence of a good few months, I again found myself heading over Rainham following my old dawn route.

The sunrise alone promised a good morning and so it turned out with some good birds seen throughout the morning, looking over on the Reserve showed a distinct lack of water in some of the regular areas, rain obviously needed to bring the water table up.

7 Redwing were seen immediately leaving roost,Goldcrest heard, Redwing starting to arrive now so the cold stuff is on its way, mind you have always preferred winter birding, having said that, it was cold and I obviously needed more layers, getting soft and starting to feel it as I get older.

Pretty Dry

No Rock Pipits yet along the River Wall,2 Chiffchaffs heard and a good count of 204 Black Tailed Godwit were in the Bay with 2 Curlew and 18 Redshank on the mud also, surprisingly no sign of any Avocet.

2 colour ringed Black Tailed Godwit

Went through the Gulls, found 7 Yellow Legged Gulls but not the ringed Caspian, it’s a bit of a minefield with these for me and don’t mind admitting they get me at it in regards to ID of the different ages, however very slowly getting there.

I should learn more on them, retaining the knowledge in my head and holding it there is another matter,age,impatience and a lack of excitement on seeing hundreds, even thousands of them on the water/mud doesn’t give me a kick, hats off to those who sort them out.

Yellow Legged Gulls

No Stonechats en route or late Wheatears but a couple of Marsh Harriers were seen flying over the Reserve.

A Barn Owl was seen having a preen, always good to see these and 2 Bearded Tits were seen flying over the Dragonfly Pools.

Calling Geese heralded the arrival of at least 350+ Greylags/Canada’s dropping in, quite a spectacular sight all coming in together and very stirring to the senses, made me think of Norfolk and the Pinkfeet, me and Chris will have to get back there this winter.

Quite a few dodgy Geese in there as well, there all Feral but it looked like a few were straight out of the Farmyard.


A single Common Buzzard was seen before I got onto another Buzzard at distance, it was so pale and had me going for a short while before it passed closer, a very striking looking Common Buzzard which I later caught up with sitting on a post. It has to be the most striking looking Common Buzzard I have ever seen, as you can imagine at distance it put me in mind of Rough Legged.

Cracking looking bird

A single Stonechat was in the reed bed near the Pools and another 2 Chiffchaff were seen en route, 2 circling waders with a flock of Lapwing turned out to be male and female Ruff, over a dozen Pochard on the Pools but no sign of any of the recent Spoonbills.


A single adult Peregrine was on one of the pylons, very alert with a flat crop so looked like it was hunting, confirmed when I saw it head off at speed over Wennington Marshes obviously on to something.


On arriving at the Centre for a coffee, Howard picked out 2 Raven flying east, a bird needed by all of us at the Ingrebourne Valley with only one record in 2004,again by Howard, given the expansion of its range I suspect that it is only a matter of time before one of us picks one up.

A very enjoyable morning.

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