Tuesday, 2 May 2017

A Grasshopper Warbler at Rainham Marshes

23rd April 2017

A Grasshopper Warbler appears most years at Rainham Marshes and this year was no different, so off we go to try our luck. The Purfleet Hide was even quieter now that summer is round the corner with the only interest being this lone Grey Heron. Along the streams the Marsh Frogs were starting to become more vocal, and the first young Coot had hatched and were showing off their multi-coloured heads.

Sedge Warblers have now arrived in numbers and were shouting out their scratchy song from every vantage point.

But today the main action was on the river wall, which is the domain of the Whitethroats with several birds singing between the visitor's centre and Coldharbour Lane, but the main quest today was the Grasshopper Warbler.

It normally sings by the "high chair" but no sight or sound today. I did however hear that there was one singing inside the enclosure close to the Coldharbour Lane car park. While we were waiting for the reeling to commence a male Wheatear flew along the wall and perched in an Elder next to us to get its bearings. And at that point the Grasshopper Warbler started singing.

As with all Grasshopper Warblers it was nigh on impossible to tell how far away it was, and it was only after a spot of triangulation that I worked out what bush it was in. Now the challenge was to find it. By scouring every inch of the bush I did mange to see it sitting just inside, partially obscured by some twigs. However, that was as good as it was going to get so I clicked away and hoped for the best. Reasonably happy with that.

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