Tuesday, 28 April 2015

In Search of Migrants at Rainham Marshes

20th April 2015

It is that time of year that migrants are starting to arrive in numbers so time for a visit to Rainham Marshes. First stop on the clockwise route was the Purfleet Scrape which continues to be frustratingly quiet. The habitat in front of the hide is superb but once again, the birds that were present were all at the far end of the scrape. The only bird that was showing on the way to the hide was this male Whitethroat which was intent on singing irrespective of who was watching.

Further along towards the dragonfly ponds this cracking male Reed Bunting obviously understood the requirements of bird photographers and posed on top of a Phragmites head in full sun. I don't think I could have composed the photo any better myself. Unfortunately, no sign or sound of the Bearded Tits.

On the return loop now and a quick look at the Terrapin Pond where it had been reported that a Grass Snake had been sunning itself. No sign of the snake but the first sighting today of some rather small Marsh Frogs. They had been vocal once or twice on the circuit but this was the first time that they had decided to put in an appearance.

At that point one of the 30+ male Cetti's Warblers belted out his song from the back of the pond. And then, quite surprisingly it decided to shim up into a small sallow at the back of the pond, gradually shuffling through the tree, allowing some rare shots to be taken.

I especially like this head-on shot, but the last shot is particularly out of character as it hangs on wren-style to an old reed-mace stem. What a fantastic end to the visit and now on to see what Thurrock Thameside has to offer.

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