Monday, 14 September 2009

All quiet at Rainham

Sunday at Rainham was about as birdless as I've seen it, and with high winds sweeping the marsh it was pretty insectless as well. It's a good thing their bacon sandwiches are so damn tasty.

My day's target was to get a calling Cetti's, which I managed, though it was only singing half it's usual song. Nothing else makes that noise though. Parus got a Snipe, which I missed, but the rest were fairly evenly distributed. Hobbies being interesting and having a go at House Martins in flight (interspersed with a few late Sands). It didn't catch any, but I appreciated the effort. There were quite a few wildfowl about, so I picked up my first Wigeon of the winter, along with some Shovellers, Teal and at least 2 Gadwall (M&F). Also on the islands were 4 Greater Black Backed gulls pushing the Black Headeds around.

The real killer was the fact that there was no water on the usual scrapes, and therefore no waders. Disappointing really, and next time I look out the window of the visitor's centre and see everything dry I'll probably turn around and head to Ingrebourne.

To give you a flavour of how exciting this trip was, Parus and I spent a good 15 minutes trying to ID a Speckled Wood at 50 yards using scopes and an underwing view alone.

Poorly 'mobile-phone-camera-digi-scoped' Gadwall

As above, but not a Gadwall


ON THE OTHER HAND: I go on holiday on Thursday, and will be headed off to Jersey with the missus for the better part of a week, during which time I will fail to see a Puffin. There's a good chance of some continental passerines though, and I'm reading up on my Skuas and Shearwaters for the 9 hour ferry ride over there. I haven't been away since the long weekend in Norfolk during May bank holiday and am in desperate need of a change of scene. The holiday is not specifically a 'birdwatching' holiday, but if any rarities happen to throw themselves into my path I will probably deign to watch them for a while.

There will likely be photos on my return, you lucky people.

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