Sunday, August 27, 2017

Hackney Downs

A quick note of four Common Swift flying low over Hackney Downs park on a beautiful warm summers evening.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Hen Harrier Day - Rainham Marshes

An inspiring Hen Harrier day in the presence of some fine guest speakers involved in the fight for the protection of our precious countryside and of a truly majestic bird that should have it's place in the English moorlands.

The three speaker spoke passionately about the campaign against wildlife crime, and in particular, the shameless persecution of protected birds of prey for, well in essence for financial gain.  The event was well attended, the message was clearly, confidently, and passionately articulated.  The rain held off (until after the event), and we dissipated into the fertile setting of the finest nature reserve in London, in the knowledge that the good fight is still being fought with fervour and intensity.

Much respect goes out to the team at BAWC, to Chris, and those behind the scenes that stand up against the driven grouse shooting fraternity that fail to understand the delicate balance between recreation and sustainability.  This is not a one way street, and so ordinary folk who crave to see the three hundred pairs of Hen Harrier breed successfully on our uplands will continue to fight, support, and lobby until that day finally arrives.

I spent the whole day on site, soaking up the atmosphere that felt inclusive and buoyant.  There was plenty of wildlife around too.   

Four Hobby were seen dashing around the darkening skyline, where a Marsh Harrier quartered Wennington.  Two Green Sandpiper tip-toed around a small pool on Purfleet and 12 Black-tailed Godwit were present on Aveley Pools with a Common Snipe and two Avocet.

Plenty of young Bearded Tit were in evidence by the Dragonfly pools and a Peregrine was seen perched authoritatively on one of the pylons.

Other wildlife included a Marsh Frog, and a stunning Wasp Spider.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Rainham Marshes

Summer has been a sporadic event this year, and today did nothing to restore my faith in the sterotypically maligned view of the English climate.  It was cool and blustery.

Autumn migration was starting to kick in evidenced by a smattering of waders in Aveley Bay.  A single Dunlin was present there with a Common Sandpiper, six Black-tailed Godwit, and two Oystercatcher.  A nice surprise was this 1st/2nd year Caspian Gull that was later seen sitting by the shoreline of the bay.

This smart Jersey Tiger moth was seen near to the Serin Mound, and a single Grey Seal was loafing around on the river.