Last nights rain has left the reserve looking positively verdant this morning. It is still overcast now but the temperature has risen slightly and the sun is trying to peak through. A Spotted Flycatcher was seen yesterday but there was no sign of it this morning but a Turtle Dove was ample recompense. Hundreds of Swifts around and the Sand Martins have been coming down to dust bath on top of the river wall.
Spotted Flycatcher by Russ Sherriff
We were hoping to have the new Shooting Butts Hide open for the coming Bank Holiday weekend but weather related complications earlier in the build have left us with a little still to do and we do not want to open it without it being as good as we can get it. Please bear with us a little longer; it will definitely be worth the wait and I will keep you all up to date with developments on this blog.
And some nice insects yesterday with a name being put to the velvety cardinal beetle that we seem to have lots of at the moment and some nice Carder Bees on the red clover.
Pyrochroa serraticornis - a cardinal beetle by me
Common Carder Bee - Bombus pascourum by me
Who would have thought that yesterday it nearly reached 30c and that today would be 12c cooler. However this change and the easterly wind that brought it delivered a few waders this afternoon to the reserve with a Turnstone and 16 Ringed Plover on the foreshore and a drake Garganey out on the Target Pools. No Kites today but there had obviously been an unprecedented movement going on with 13 local sightings since the 11th May. Flocks of up to a dozen were seen over the last two days in Sussex and Kent so definitely keep your eyes on the skies!
Red Kite over the reserve on 24th May by Terry Malby
Nice to have a day off out of the sun to be honest! However, just because I am not there does not mean that I do not get to find out about the birds!
Three Marsh Harriers today including a wing-tagged immature male and our fifth Red Kite in eight days! Just wish the Spoonbill would come back.
oh and I may have got that Jumping Spider wrong.... will post back when I have sussed it out!
... and boy did it get warm today! Too hot to be out for long for anyone and even the insect and bird life went quiet in the middle of the day. A day to sit back and enjoy the view with a nice cuppa and a bit of cake!
The dawn chorus was another great success with everyone getting excellent views of the male Cuckoo. An early birder struck lucky this morning with a Spoonbill that left at 0820 before we even knew it was there! Two Red Kites were also seen taking us to four this week! The Hobbies again performed stunningly well with seven in the air at once and Reed Warblers seemed especially showy today.
Reed Warbler by Basil Thornton
Four-spotted Chasers (image below by Brenda Clayton) were on the wing and there seemed to be even more damsels around.
Our Great Spotted Woodpeckers (image by Bob Jenner) definitely have chicks and are drawing quite a crowd as they line up to watch him bring in food while mum does some housework by chucking out the rubbish...
Having been up since 2:30 am I am starting to flag a bit! Good night!
Here again before the sun dared to show its face. Rainham is quite peacfeul at 3am albeit with a background of croaking frogs, chattering Sedge Warblers, gurking Reeds, Blackbirds, Robins, Wrens and even a Cuckoo, redshank and Lapwing joining in before the first rays.
Looks like it will be another gorgous day...