Sorry been away for a few days so lets catch up:
Friday 27 saw a miserable day with north easterly winds up the Thames which actually meant a fantastic day to spend looking at the river from our convenient visitor center balcony... shame I was on my way to Norfolk!
Anyway the haul of terns and gulls was impressive and even a Great Skua made it up to harry the tern!
Great Skua (Dominic Mitchell www.birdingetc.com)
Kittiwake, 2 Little Gull, Yellow-legged
Gull, 300 Common Tern, 9 Arctic Tern, 19 Sandwich Tern, 3
Little Terns, 4 Black Tern along with a a good selection of waders: 3 Green Sandpipers, 17
Ringed Plover, 8 Dunlin, 3 Sanderling, 6 Black-tailed Godwits. A male Common
Scoter was also seen on the river and the Cattle Egret was still out on Aveley Marsh. Also seen were Garganey, Buzzard, Hobby, Swift, 4
Yellow Wagtails, 6 Wheatears, 2 Lesser Whitethroats and a Spotted Flycatcher so not a bad day at all!
Saturday was quieter but a Black-necked Grebe on the Thames was new for the year and a Knot was seen on all three days.
And today we were treated to the appearance of a flighty and elusive Ortolan Bunting (a rare visitor from southern Europe) that was found in the woodland almost exactly where one was found a day earlier in 2008!
And before you ask... yes I did come in on my day off to see it.
Amazingly that means that 190 species have been seen at Rainham Marshes already this year! Will we get to the magic 200 for the first time!
Sorry could not resist another picture of the charismatic Cattle Egret from last week (Russ Sherriff)
Quick note. The RSPB Rainham Events page is suggesting that the Dusk Walk is tomorrow night until you open the file and it says that it is today!
Confusing I know but it is definitely tonight at 0700 till dark!
Have got the web team looking into it!
Wanted to do an update yesterday but just do not know where the time goes!
Anyway, it has been an interesting week with somewhat inclement weather but a good array of birds including some goodies. Check out www.elbf.co.uk for the full list for the day but undoubted highlight was the Cattle Egret that was found mid-afternoon. It showed very well from the new Shooting Butts Hide for a couple of hours in terrible rain. Hopefully it will still be around tomorrow.
Cattle Egret with Little Egret (Me)
A pale phase Arctic Skua (yes you get dark ones as well) was seen along the river as well and made for a fine end to the day.
Also this week we found a cracking meter long adult Eel in the ditch by the bus stop on Monday and I then received a stunning sequence of photographs of a Grass Snake taking a quite large Marsh Frog!
Eel (Brenda Clayton)
Dinner is served (Sula Riedlinger ) A full sequence can be seen on the ELBF website....