Trip reports

Rainham Marshes 21 September 2013

Male wigeon swimming

Saturday, 21 September 2013

For a couple of people who turned up early I was able to show them a dashing hobby over the Thames.
However all was not lost for everyone else had excellent scope views of a Hobby, perched on a fence post. It was the star bird of the day. The hobby was also seen in flight catching and eating several dragonflies we presumed.

On the insect front there were very close settled views of comma, small tortoise shell and red admiral on vegetation in the sheltered area of the former concrete gunpowder stores.

Smaller birds seen and heard along the paths included a softly calling blackcap from deep vegetation to a very punchy Cetti's warbler singing. A chiffchaff was also heard.

Moving to water, there were several sightings of grey heron, six little grebe and little egret.

Ducks seen, albeit in low numbers, included shelduck, seven wigeon, gadwall, teal, mallard, shoveler and two pintail.

A water rail's "pig screeching" call was heard from an area of reeds. There were also coot and moorhen present.

There were at least three kestrels seen on our circular walk of the reserve.

The most numerous waders today were around 50 lapwings.

A distance spotted redshank was the best wader of the day. Other waders included three dunlin, one ruff, redshank and a snipe calling.

Other expected birds included reed bunting and linnet.

After much thought I finally agreed a raven was seen in flight which had been around the site for a couple of days.

A respectable total of 49 species were seen with the hobby, raven, spotted redshank and close views of several butterflies the highlights of the day.

George Kalli