Another visit to Rainham with Stuart, but this time a slight diversion to Ferry Lane. Ferry lane is an industrial estate to the west of Rainham and at one point the road through the estate runs parallel to the sea wall. Once at the wall we started to scan the rocks of the sea defences and it wasn't long before we connected with a cracking male Wheatear. It was a bit flighty but eventually it was possible to get a couple of shots in the sun.
Another search of the entire length of the wall revealed a little brown job flitting amongst the rocks. Again very flighty and sometimes flying long distances, but I was soon able to get quite close for some shots. This time a female Black Redstart, probably one of the dullest bird that I have ever photographed, at least until it flicked its orangey-red tail which unfortunately is not captured in the photos.
But then the moment I had been waiting for. Further along the road by a storage yard someone spotted a bird sitting on a fence which was the main quarry of the day, a male Black Redstart. It then flew down onto the ground and I was able to get a shot of it on the concrete wall of a culvert. However, the best was yet to come as it then flew onto a post supporting a newly planted Monkey Puzzle Tree affording a great opportunity for a shot.
Now on to Rainham itself and a walk along the sea wall produced a male Stonechat out near the saltmarsh. Not the best light and rather obscured, but Stonechats are always a pleasure to see and never cease to amaze me how they can appear from nowhere and disappear just as quickly.
The reserve was still quiet with high water levels and no migrants, but as we were walking along the boardwalk on the northern side there was some rustling in the reeds. Nothing was visible but you could track its presence by following the movement of the reeds around the reed bed. Then curiosity got the better of it and it couldn't resist a little peek to see what all the fuss was about. This is the first time I have played peek-a-boo with a Cetti's Warbler.