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, 19 March 2015

That Rainham Marshes magic

Still basking in my Serin glory, I warmed down by heading straight for the familiar surroundings of Rainham Marshes. After Lee Valley, this is my home. I love it; I love the warm welcome and I love the diversity of the birds that come here. It’s a true barometer for spring migration and frankly, anything is possible – any time.

I headed straight for the Cordite area and quickly picked up a singing Chiffchaff. At the feeders, the Brown rats were putting on a show (funny how in a totally natural setting, these rodents retain a certain ahhh factor as they busied themselves picking up seed and chaff from the feeders.

This area is a hotbed of action. Great Tits, Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Collared Doves and Reed Buntings all commute in to the feeders, taking turns and jumping away when the next bird is due. If I did’t know better, I would think they have a ticket system like you see at the deli counter at Tesco.

I made my way round the circuit not seeing too much until I got to the Butts Hide. I knew a couple of Little Ringed Plovers had arrived and it wasn’t long before I picked one up on a small mud island close to the hide. then, as if by magic, a Water Pipit flew down beside it. Thank you God!

Water Pipit

Water Pipit
Another two to my growing list for the year at Rainham. High above, a lapwing went mental with a display of aerobatics worthy of any RAF fighter squadron.

Pull out of that one Peewit.
From the Butts hide, I went through he Dragonfly Pools without incident (one day I will get a Bearded Tit here!) and then watched a majestic Little Egret fish for its supper.

Finally, I conjured up a resting Snipe at the water’s edge and a drake Pintail showing off its fantastic plumage to bring an end to a great day or so I thought.

A footnote: The best thing about Rainham Marshes isn’t any bird or animal it’s a human nature. And by this I mean the people who run the show. Well no, the person who runs the show, Howard Vaughan to be precise. I watched him point out Rock Pipits to some of the punters before collaring him about my bird race total which was out of date. Not only did he check my species list, he then pointed me in the direction of at least three species my team needed almost from where we stood. The man is a the magic that is Rainham Marshes.

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