Thursday, 14 June 2018

A Day at Blue House Farm and Rainham Marshes

3rd June 2018

There had been reports of families of Avocets on the islands immediately in front of the first hide at Blue House Farm in North Fambridge, so time for another visit to this lovely reserve on the banks of the River Crouch. As I walked out to the hide I came across two species that I have never seen before at this site, Barnacle Goose and Corn Bunting. The Barnacles, up to eight in all, were all very distant but the lone Corn Bunting did allow a few shots before it flew.

At the hide, disaster!! The heavy rains over the last few days had raised the water levels considerably and the islands in front of the hide were now no more than a few feet square, just large enough for a couple of Mallard. Let us hope that the Avocet chicks were able to swim to a larger island.

I therefore re-located to Rainham Marshes to enjoy the din of the Reed Warblers and the occasional burst from a Cetti's Warbler. Uncharacteristically, one of the Cetti's showed itself and played peek-a-boo from a bush.

The streams were absolutely teaming with Rudd with their diagnostic protruding lower lip, but today the only bird on show at the MDZ was this rather smart male Tufted Duck.

The juvenile Goldfinch was so engrossed in looking for seeds that it was totally unaware of my presence, allowing me to get to within just eight yards................

...............and it would appear that the Redshank have once again had a successful breeding season as there were several young in the long grass judging by the number of Redshanks sitting on posts by the path giving alarm calls.

But the highlight of the day was back at Blue House Farm where I saw my first Clouded Yellow of the year. Even more special because they don't settle very often and luckily this one chose a rather colourful sprig of Common Vetch to nectar on. How good is that?

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