This morning saw another early amble out along the river wall and by 0800 it was apparent that the first big Woodpigeon day was underway with hundreds of birds streaming south on their traditional route aiming for somewhere between the chimney of Littlebrook Power Station of the Twin Sisters pylons that straddle the Thames at Grays.

By 0915 I had counted 3250 heading purposefully south. Occasionally a small party would turn around and circle back before re-orientating and getting underway once again.

Redwings were also on the move with 520 logged in groups of 30-40 with one group of just under a hundred. All were moderately high and kept on going while down below there were many Song Thrushes and Blackbirds in the undergrowth.

Redwings on the move...

I was delighted to find a 1st winter female Ring Ouzel that I first picked up on hearing its chacking call. It showed quite well before heading into cover. A young male was seen later along the river wall.


Finches were again a feature but not in any great numbers although Siskin and Lesser Redpoll were again seen. One of the Yellowhammers seen on the river wall and Skylarks and Meadow Pipits drifted over in ones and twos.

The Ravens came to visit for a while and got into some serious punch ups with the Carrion Crows before heading back to Kent and the male Marsh Harrier put on a good show.

Raven - Tom Bell

And let’s not forget that the Spoonbill is still present too!

Spoonbill - Alan Reynolds

Full highlights from the day:

Monday 23rd October 2017

  • RSPB Rainham Marshes: Spoonbill, 3250 Woodpigeon S, 4 Ruff,  2 Ring Ouzel, 520 Redwing SW, 18 Song Thrush, 19 Blackbird, 45 Chaffinch, 4 Siskin, 12 Lesser Redpoll, 8 Greenfinch, 2 Raven, 3 Little Egret, 2 Curlew, f Yellowhammer, 12 Reed Bunting, 12 Skylark, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, Coal Tit, 16 Goldcrest, Firecrest, 10 Stonechat, 7 Rock Pipit, 40 Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail, 3 1stw Caspian Gull inc X841, 8 Yellow-legged Gulls