RSPB Rainham Marshes 19th September 2019
It was a glorious morning and I got to the river wall a
smidgen after sunrise today to be greeted by the reserve smothered in a layer
of mist that covered the marsh up to the Central Control building like a white
duvet have thrown back after Sol got out of bed.
It was quieter than it has been of late but there were still
a few Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and singles of both Whitethroat species along with
a calling Goldcrest that always makes any day feel autumnal.
I saw a
flock of birds bimble towards me and was surprised to see that they were all
Blue Tits but these were not moving from bush to bush like a normal roving
flock comprising of several species. Nineteen flew over my head in one flock
and gained height before dropping back in about 200 yards further on. They
leapfrogged their way all the way to the end of the river wall like this. I am
not sure if I have ever witnessed this inland before, but I am in no doubt that
they were on the move and not locals. I saw a Coal Tit from the Centre on
Wednesday which is just about annual here at this time of year and I suspect
that it was part of this influx.
|All the little dots are disappearing Blue Tits|
I made my way down to the Serin Mound passing the expected
Gulls, Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits and Teal in the Bay. Grey and Yellow
Wagtails headed over and there was a small party of Skylarks up on the
|Looking back to the QEII Bridge - somehow I did not see the interesting masted vessel|
|1st winter Lesser Black-backed Gull|
|and with a 1st winter Herring Gull side by side for comparison|
Out on Wennington, Andrew was guiding four huge tipper
lorries out onto the marsh where they reversed skilfully down our main track
through the middle and deposited tonnes of aggregate ready for the improvements
necessary on said track. There are some particularly sticky patches come
winter where trucks and tractors are prone to getting bogged down and all of
our ditch crossings are going to be rebuilt over the next few months.
I saw the Cattle Egret briefly but as usual it was in a
ditch and keeping out of sight although I did see it flying around again a
little later on which was an improvement on the previous day! Two Little Egrets
and a Grey Heron were stalking prey on the mirror calm Crake Pool which
actually has some good muddy margins and should really have one of the species
from which we named it.
|Was being arty with the low light|
I retraced my steps and dropped down through the turnstile
gate to be confronted by my customary Grey Heron and inadvertently flushed a
party of explosive Teal.
|imm m Marsh Harrier|
|You gotta love a Woodpigeon|
|He was eating Elderberries one by one|
Bearded Tits accompanied my from here onwards on my
circuit and I reckon I had 20 all told including two pairs on the Northern
Trail that showed ridiculously well as they clambered up to feed on the
A pair of Stonechat were chacking from the same tops and were
my first of the autumn while a few Swallows still lazily drifted south.
Another party of eight Blue Tits flew over my head and
paused briefly in a solitary Hawthorn before, like the others, climbing into
the sky and heading out over the openness of Wennington. There were further
reports of small parties doing his all morning so something was definitely
There were plenty of Teal and Gulls on Aveley Pool but the
15 Grey Herons present had the monopoly to fishing rights.
After a quick check on the industrious Ivy Bees it was time
to head back in for the rest of the normal working day.
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