Tuesday, 24 May 2016

A Glossy Ibis at Rainham Marshes

13th May 2016

We had gone to Rainham in the hope of photographing some more Spring migrants and had only just arrived at the reception desk when Howard calmly announced that there was a Glossy Ibis on Purfleet Scrape. Unfortunately it had flown and was now out of view and its whereabouts were unknown. So off we went to hopefully relocate the bird and get some record shots.

We were just approaching the viewing platform before the Cordite Store when I spotted a Cormorant-like bird high in the sky over towards the Butts Hide. Luckily it was flying back this way and I was able to confirm that it was indeed the Glossy Ibis before it plunged out of view once more. It obviously wasn't too happy about the food on offer as three times over half an hour it got up and changed position. It was during these brief flights that I managed to get some shots.

At that point it took to the air once more but this time, instead of just moving position, it gained height flying east and eventually flew south over the river into Kent. For once I was in the right place at the right time. On now to the Cordite Store which as usual was alive with Blackcaps including this rather splendid male which was singing his heart out.

But the star of the Cordite today was this splendid Hobby which was feeding on insects on the other side of the tree line, but every now and again drifted over the clearing inside the wood allowing some great opportunities.

Marsh Frogs are now in the ascendancy and were giggling their song over large distances. They came in all colours including black and brown, but also some rather fetching greens and blues, presumably depending on the fashion this season.

The Lapwings were also obviously benefiting from the anti-predator electric fence judging by the numerous chicks running around.

The last stop today was the MDZ in the hope of grabbing a few more shots of the Kingfishers. Up to now I have only managed some shots of the male as the female has been sitting, so lets see what happens today. During the wait this gorgeous Little Grebe was gliding around outside, apparently guarding the nest bank.

But then the activity started and the female flew in and conveniently landed on the dragonfly sculpture allowing some great shots, especially as the sun came out. What a fantastic end to the day.

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