Trip reports

Visti to RSPB Rainham Marshes

Visti to RSPB Rainham Marshes
Stonechat on fence post [Photo: Kevin Groocock]

Sunday, 22 February 2015

We took the clockwise route from the visitor centre and soon found house sparrow, starling, stonechat, skylark, meadow pipit, moorhen, pied wagtail and buzzard. Water rail were heard and some were lucky to catch a glimpse of a water vole.

Lunch was taken in the wonderfully appointed Shooting Butts hide, where we met up with some of the group taking the anti-clockwise route. We saw little egret, grey heron, pochard, shelduck, mallard, gadwall, greylag and Canada goose and curlew on the Butts scrape. The Target pools held black-headed gull, common gull, lesser black-backed gull, herring gull and great black-backed gull. We failed to spot the reported Caspian gull.

Moving on to the Ken Barratt hide we had little grebe, tufted duck and shoveler. At the next feeding station we had blue tit, great tit, coal tit and up to five brown rats joining in the feeding bonanza!

At the Woodland Discovery Zone we sought in vain for the barn owl roost site. After leaving the Woodland walk we heard the elusive Cetti's warbler.

We enjoyed a warming hot chocolate and a piece of cake in the visitor centre whilst watching the feeders outside, where goldfinch fought off the greenfinch and reed bunting scavenged on the ground with chaffinch and we counted an amazing twenty-one collard dove. A female blackcap fed alone on apples affixed to the top of a fence.

Just enough time left to visit the Purfleet hide previously passed by and the rain arriving fifteen minutes early. Here plenty of wigeon, lapwing, golden plover, redshank, dunlin and a single ringed plover were on display.

Heading back to the coach for 4pm Allan the driver informed us there had been a closure on the M25, evasive action was taken and we came home via the M11 and A14. This proved to be an excellent decision.

Peter and Lesley Berrill