Saturday, 20 December 2014

The New Purfleet Scrape at Rainham Marshes

6th December 2014

After a superb morning photographing pipits and Stonechats on the river wall at Rainham Marshes it was time to go on to the reserve and have a look at the new re-profiled Purfleet Scrape. On the way to the hide we stopped off at the feeders and I couldn't resist a shot of that totally under-rated rascal, the Starling. They are the kaleidoscope of the birding world with just a subtle change in position bringing a different range of hues.

And whenever you put out seed for our feathered friends you are always likely to attract what some people would regard as unwelcome guests, although of course this is their home and have every right to be there.

So what do I think of the newly re-profiled Pyefleet Scrape. Well, from a photography perspective, I never thought that the Pyefleet Hide fulfilled its full potential as most of the birds were fairly distant, and on only one occasion were there some Wigeon feeding on the grass bank right outside the window. However, now there is more open water with much more potential for birds to come much closer.

This coot was certainly right in front of the hide and seemed to be feeding on some Water Crowfoot. There were also most of the usual suspects present including Mallard, Teal and Wigeon.

But today's star and testimony to the success of the management work was this fine drake Pintail, just one of the five present on the scrape. I think I will be looking forward to coming back in the near future.

And to finish off a rather superb day this female Reed Bunting was perched high in the Phragmites bed just outside the hide enjoying the glow of the late afternoon sun.

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