Saturday, April 22, 2017

Rainham Marshes RSPB

It was a stellar day at the Marshes, the highlight being our monthly Wildlife Explorers group in which we welcomed fifteen children all of which enjoyed dissecting owl pellets and getting their grubby mits covered with mammalian detritus.  It was all good fun.

Arriving a couple of hours before the start of the group, it was evident that there were plenty of migrants around in gloomy and mizzly conditions.  It felt rare!  Around a dozen Common Whitethroat were scratching away in the scrub opposite Aveley Bay and on the receded tide, a total of seven Whimbrel were noted, six of which deserted the exposed mud in hot pursuit of a lone Greenshank that too noisely fled the area.  Also in attendance were four Dunlin (including three summer plumaged adults) and a smart Grey Plover not quite yet into its summer finery, and three noisy Oystercatcher.

From the car park, a Corn Bunting jangled as it sat low in the grass on the eastern slope of the landfill.  Two Grasshopper Warbler were reeling intermittently adding to the symphony of bird song of which Sedge Warbler too were particularly evident.

The old Landfill also held, at least eight Northern Wheatear with the possibility for many more there.

On the reserve, a rattling Lesser Whitethroat showed well in the Woodland, and two Ruff were skulking along the margins of Wennington.

It warmed up in the afternoon, and despite missing a fly-through Red Kite, there were a couple of Marsh Harrier, three Buzzard, and two Peregrine enjoying the thermals.

A couple of Water Vole were seen around the reserve and a first Orange-Tip was on the wing along with Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, and Peacock.

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