Welcome to my birdwatching blog. This blog will contain stories about my bird watching trips, interesting bird news and other tales that may or may not be bird related. I want to make it useful to the avid birder as well as those who may only have a passing interest in bird watching. I enjoy photographing bird life, common and rare through a spotting scope, not that they always sit still long enough for me. Being on the outskirts of North East London, my reports will not only cover my local patch of Redbridge/Waltham Forest, but also dip into deepest Essex, Suffolk, Kent and Norfolk.


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Bagging waders and a wheatear at Rainham

The weather warmed up a little at the weekend and as my Saturday didn’t require me to hit my thumb with a hammer, I sneaked off to Rainham while the lady of the house had her back turned. There had been a few sightings of the wonderful Black Redstart and a couple of migrants in the shape of Northern Wheatears. I had highish hopes........

Didn’t bother with the RSPB reserve as the walk along the Thames river path was probably the best route to take to see migrants. Or so I thought. I walked west towards the stone barges and saw, well, nothing. One small bird flew ahead of me and disappeared – think it was a Linnet but couldn’t be sure. On the Thames a pair of Shelduck honked and small parties of Wigeon and Teal were seen. Further along the path there are a number of jetty/pier type things that have seen better days and are now defunct. A pair of Oystercatchers liked them although I think they had had a falling out.

Oystercatchers, not talking
The stone barges are the remains of one of the unused Mulberry Harbours created for the D-Day landings. Today they are a great place to see Water Pipits but you have to look really hard to see one!!.

Water Pipit
Less difficult to see is the waste all of us create and with a strong breeze coming off the landfill site, you get to see these ugly scenes.


Re-use your plastic carrier bags folks.
I went up beyond the Tilda Rice factory towards Ferry lane but there was no sign of any Black Redstarts. Probably going to have to get them at Dungeness now. It was a long walk back to the RSPB reserve. I looked half-heartly for any Caspian Gull among the million gulls on the landfill site but to honest, I’m good at puns but rubbish at finding Caspian Gulls.

Along the foreshore the occasional Common Redshank piped as it flew across the river with my arrival. One bird stayed put though and so with little else to do, I took a shot. While I fiddled with the focus etc... a bird flew into a nearby bush/tree – not sure which as it was small but tree-like. Anyway it was a fine male Northern Wheatear. I took the Redshank and then tried to get in on the wheatear. It wasn’t playing ball. (Normally you can get quite close but not this fellow, oh no.) Anyway here’s a Redshank.

Not a Wheatear

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