The sun is shining (again!) and the frogs are croaking. Yesterday saw the arrival of hundreds of Sand Martins and several flocks of Swifts. Two Hobbies were seen zooming around and three Marsh Harriers were noted. Today the Whimbrel flock has reached 13 with birds sitting on their regular high tide posts just out from the Purfleet Visitor Centre and a Spotted Redshank dropped in in his sooty summer finery. Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers are now singing in good numbers along the river wall and Water Voles and two Grass Snakes have been seen this morning in the ditch where the new Biffa funded riverside access gate crosses it.
Whitethroat by Chris Lowe
Lots more insects today as well with several 24-spot ladybirds and a cracking male orange tip butterfly in the wildlife gardens. Another Great Silver Diving Beetle was seen energing this morning.
oh and do not forget that we still have spaces on the Dawn and Dusk Walks and the Insect Afternoon events in May & June.
Feels like I have been up forever! Yes I know it is my weekend off but I could not resist an early morning visit (0430) to the edges of the reserve. Several reeling Grasshopper Warblers have been heard this week. Unfortunately most are in restricted areas (sorry folks!) but a couple are audible from public areas. The area of marsh adjacent to the reserve, just south of Rainham C2C station (Rainham North) is currently hosting two birds and these can clearly be heard from the new footpath alongside Ferry Lane especially in the area closest to the A13. Parking is non-existent nowadays down there so feet or bicycle are required.
Grasshopper Warbler photo taken by Les Harrison
A Nightingale was heard briefly down on the reserve along with the Spotted Redshank from yesterday, 11 Whimbrel, 3 Garganey and a few terns.
I got a new camera yesterday but the light was not good so I only have this very fluffy Owl Midge to show for my troubles!
Pericoma fuliginosa - a absolutely tiny Owl Midge!
Anyway... enough for now
that a pair of Rainham Lapwings have hatched their first chick...
Big smiles all round ;o)