July, 2010

Rainham Marshes

Rainham Marshes
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Rainham Marshes

  • wooly bees and waspish spiders

    The rain still seems to be passing us by; we see the clouds, get a few spots and then watch the heavens open somewhere else followed by people coming in saying ' oooh, Romford is under three inches of water!' Pah!

    At least Aveley Pools are still wet and the birds are still dropping in. Today we had : 25 Little Egrets, 73 Lapwings, 4 Green Sandpipers, Common Sandpiper, Greenshank, Redshank, Ruff, 4 Dunlin, 5 Little Ringed Plover, Snipe, Wigeon, Kestrel, 3  Yellow legged Gulls,2 Swift, 120 Sand Martin, Oystercatcher. A female Marsh Harrier spent quite a while today quartering both Aveley and Wennington and could be seen from the newly opened Shooting Butts Hide (and yes I did say open...). Seven Whimbrel were seen over high tide and there was a new brood of Shelduck in the Bay.

    No bird pictures today but a new bee for the reserve with several Wool Carder Bees around the Lemon Balm in the herb garden.

    Also found the first Wasp Spiders today. The area near the Ken Barrett hide opposite the big nettle bed had at least six today viewable from the path so no need to go wandering off piste in search of them. Will try and get some shots tomorrow.

    Wool Carder Bee (Barry Jackson)



  • of birds and flies...

    Aveley Pool is just getting better and better and today hosted the following species of wader: 11 Black Tailed Godwit, 11 Little Ringed Plovers, Ruff, 3 Common Terns, 5 Green Sandpipers, 3 Greenshank, 5 Snipe, Redshank along with a hawking Hobby and many Sand Martins. Down on the Thames a single Bar-tailed Godwit was noteworthy along with 2 Whimbrel. Four Sandwich terns headed west up river.

    There has been a big emergence of hoverflies with several good species amongst the myriad of Marmalades!

    Episyrphus balteatus also known as the Marmalade Hoverfly

    Chrysotoxum bicinctum

    Helophilus pendulus

    Scaeva pyrastri

  • Wader winds of change...

    The wind dropped and the temperature rose again and there were actually plenty of waders to see on Aveley Pools with 7 Little Ringed Plovers, 7 Green Sandpipers, Common Sandpiper, 3 Redshanks, 8 Greenshanks, 2 Whimbrel, 27 Black-tailed Godwits and 2 Oystercatchers present along with 17 Little Grebes, 121 Coots, 27 Moorhens, Greylag Goose family, Wigeon, 5 Gadwall, 64 Mallard, 5 Common Tern, 32 Little Egrets and  33 Grey heron. A Hobby and a female Marsh Harrier were seen over Wennington Marsh and 5 Yellow-legged Gull were on the foreshore with two broods of Shelduck. A Kingfisher was seen zipping across the marsh and was the first in a while while 7 Swift, 200 Sand Martin, 15 House Martin hawked low for insects.

    Speaking of which got a great shot a of a very groovy fly yesterday. As usual no English name but I am open to suggestions! And so Thick-headed Fly it is!

    Sicus ferrugineus by me. Certainly a new one for the reserve.

    Poecilobothrus nobiliatus female with prey. This is a little bigger than a mosquito! The males have lovely white spots at the end of the wings.