November, 2014

Rainham Marshes

Rainham Marshes
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Rainham Marshes

  • What do they find to eat?

    I bet you wonder what all these little insectiverous birds actually find to eat on the marsh on a dank winters day? 

    Most of what sharp eyed birds like the Cetti's Warblers, Robins and Stonechats are looking for and catching is tiny and you are unlikely to see what it is but sometimes they will dart down and reappear with something more substantial...

    Like this female Stonechat with a very sumptuous green catarpiller that it beat to death  much in the way that a Kingfisher 'takes out' a Stickleback.

    There are almost 20 of these charismatic chats out on the trail at the moment and they like to sit up high or even hover before dropping down onto a tasty morsel so you too may be able to capture a shot like Russ Sherriff's above...

    Such a joy to watch and with patience they will come pretty close....  Russ is quite rightly pleased with these...

    30-11-14

  • Battling Shouty Warblers

    Our Cetti's warblers are incredibly vocal at the moment as the males reaffirm their winter territories and new birds attempt to set up their first.  Two are still battling it out for control for the Wildlife Garden with one on each side and I think that there are possibly two more using the carpark area as a stage for their shouting matches.  One will sing and another will answer back.

    Interestingly, unlike many bird species they all sound slighly different from each other.  However, what they nearly always consistantly are is elusive and getting a good view is aften tricky but this is a good tome of year as the vegetation is dying back and they birds are having to move around more to fond insect food.

    Russ Sherriff got some great shots on Monday in the sunshine...

    and Bill Crooks found a similarly showy bird....

    Great views and great shots of an enigmatic, captivating little bird that has gone from its first site visit in December 2005 tp 32 singing males this season....

    29-11-14

  • Bob probe, bob probe...

    And that is how the our Jack Snipe was feeding on both occasions we saw it this week.  Bob, bob, bob, .... probe, probe probe.

    All the time those big high set eyes keeping a watch on the skies above for any danger. 

    Here it is with a slightly larger and longer billed Common Snipe in both shots taken by Russ Sherrif who picked up this little beauty on Monday. It seems to be best looked for on the roundish island on the back pool of Purfleet Scrape which is probably at about 11o'clock if you are looking straight out from the bench at the end of the ramp.  Afternoons seem to be best.

    ... and other news for the day....3 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 8 Snipe, 22 Pintail, 400 Wigeon, 220 Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Redshank, 300 Dunlin, 5 Curlew, f Marsh Harrier, pr Peregrine, pr Raven, 55 Pied Wagtail...  looks like a nice weekend is one the way so fingers crossed!

    28-11-14