December, 2015

Rainham Marshes

Rainham Marshes
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Rainham Marshes

  • Glad I held off!!! The Final 2015 Bird Race Scores

    So, as I suggested yesterday, there was still everything to play for in the second and third place stakes with just two days to go and the Motley Crew put in sometime yesterday and found an immature Glaucous Gull which was also new for the year for the reserve and nice round 170 for Guy & Dolls team out in front.

    The GuilleNots tried valiantly to reinstate their one bird lead today but to no avail and have had to settle for joined second with the Motleys.

    So here we have the final team scores for 2015.  Well done to Guy & Dolls and their fantastic total. A superb 184 species were recorded throughout the year of which only a couple were not recorded by at least one team.  The only new bird to the reserve list in 2015 was the ten second Great Grey Shrike that we all missed in October so let's hope that we manage to find something even better in 2016!

    and so tomorrow it all starts again... good luck!

    Oh and do not forget that I will be opening up at 0700 for the keen ones amongst you.

    31-12-15

     

  • Target Pool Battle

    The Wednesday Walk and a few other lucky visitors were treated to a twenty minute battle between our pair of Peregrines and an unlucky female Teal out on the Target Pools this morning.

    After diving on the throng of duck, the natural instinct for the likes of Teal and Wigeon is to fly straight to water where they know that as a rule the Peregrine will not follow. Both adults were haranguing the duck and inevitably some of the Teal try splash diving to evade capture.  However the water out there is not that deep and escape under water is not easy with a Peregrine trying to imitate a Kestrel just above where you have gone under.

    Dive! Dive!

    Time for a breather...

    Another go...

    Every time the Teal re-emerged the Falcon would go in and the duck would flap and go under again. The Teal knew that if it took off it was doomed and so kept trying to evade capture under water. The patience of the Falcon was eventually rewarded and the exhausted duck made a final attempt to escape and was plucked from the surface before being taken to the grass to be plucked once again.

    Got it...

    'Well done love'

    The Tiercel had been present the whole time but could only watch on as his stronger and heavier other half took the quarry and the glory. I suspect that he was making lots of noise once she got her talons into the Teal but the chances of her sharing her lunch with him were zero.

    Not sharing...

    All these shots were taken by Joanne Josephine at considerable range and she did very well to capture the story!

    30-12-15

  • 2015 Rainham Bird Race and the upcoming year...

    I was hoping to announce the top placings for the 2015 race before the end of the year but the teams in second and third place have only one bird between so it will not be over till darkness falls tomorrow afternoon!  I will put a little summary on at that time with the final team scores and site list!

    In the meantime I would like to announce that the 2016 Bird Race will kick start at dawn on January 1st when I lower the drawbridge at 0700.  Any current teams that would like to be in again, please let me know asap.

    If you are up for the challenge and fancy putting in a new team can let me know your Team name and members by the Monday 11th January 2016 please  via howard.vaughan@rspb.org.uk or via a personal FB message to me.

    This is a team effort so some simple rules...

    • The Team must have a name...
    • A team may consist of up to four people...
    • Hearing a bird counts...
    • Flyover birds count...
    • Anything out on the river counts...
    • Not every member of your team has to see or hear the bird for it to be added. In fact you do not even need to be on site at the same time...
    • Please can one member of the team either FB message me or email me howard.vaughan@rspb.org.uk any updates that need to added to your list on a regular basis..
    • The recording area is shown in the map below...(and yes it does include birds seen 'from the site' ie: on or across the river

    • I am not allowed to take part and I am the judge...
    • Other than that I insist that you have fun and spend as much time on the reserve as possible in the coming year

    A score board as well as a running year list to date will be on display in the exit door foyer...

    Looking forward to the final scores tomorrow!

    Cheers for all your support

    Howard

    30-12-15