Sunday, 2 March 2014

Rainham Revisited - Part 1

13th February 2014

This winter we have to make the most of sunny days even if they are not forecast. Once I had seen that the sun was indeed shining and the day looked reasonably settled I decided that the nearest place to go was Rainham Marshes, just 45 minutes down the road from Hertford.

As I got out of the car in the car park (and no, I didn't display a ticket) the noise from the House Sparrows sunning themselves in the hedge was deafening. As a friend of mine remarked some 40 years ago, House Sparrow roosts always sound happy. As these are relatively scarce where we live and are only seen in the garden in cold winter weather, I couldn't resist taking a few shots.

As high tide was only an hour and a half away I decided to head for the foreshore first to see if there was any sign of some pipits. As high tide approaches there is normally a lot of traffic over the river wall with birds commuting from the river to the reserve and today was no exception as witnessed by this flock of Curlews.

At first the foreshore seemed quiet, but as I made my way westwards there was a small party of pipits which sounded like Rock Pipits. Unfortunately, instead of just moving ahead of me they flew right off into the distance. Luckily, as I stood there wondering what to do next, I spotted a single bird that had been left behind and was watching me carefully. The bird was facing into the wind and therefore had its back to me most of the time,but I did eventually get enough shots to confirm it as a Rock Pipit. This was probably the closest I have managed to get, so hopefully the best shots so far.

So, now on to the reserve.

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