Today was the opener for the Rainham 2010 list, and I'm a little disappointed with a day total of a meagre 39. Well, I say day; 2 hour total would be more accurate. I was planning on finishing up with a wander down the sea wall, but once I'd worked some life and warmth back into my fingers the idea wasn't very appealing. I also deliberately left the camera at home today, as I wanted to go out as a birdwatcher, not a photographer. This is why there are few photos, but lots of video.
So a quick summary. Things I didn't see:
- Brent Geese
- Pink Footed Geese
- Bean Geese
Since I've not been to Rainham for AAAAGES, I was pleasantly surprised to find that you can actually see things from the Ken Barrett hide now. The old earth bank has been taken down and distributed liberally around the top pools. I prefer it, and judging by the billion odd Lapwing covering the place today the birds don't seem to mind at all. And sifting through the Lapwing I was rewarded with 4 smart looking Golden Plover, great birds.
Other top birds from the walkaround:
- 8 Snipe huddled on one of the mud banks, again hiding among the endless Lapwings.
- Noisy Cetti's from the boardwalk just past the 'woodland' area.
- All the usual gulls out on and around the target pools (BH, Common, LBB, GBB, Herring).
Back in the centre at the end of the walk, we had what you'd probably call a Comic Moment. There was a call from Phil at the Stone Barges saying '5 Whooper Swan flying up river'. Cue a mad rush for the window as everyone lines up scopes and bins and starts misidentifying large gulls as Swans. After 5 minutes we're all turning to eachother and saying 'but where have they got to' when someone with WORKING EYES pointed out the front window at the big pool in front of the visitor's centre and said 'there they are'. 5 large swans clear as day swimming about right under our noses. Great views as well. Have some more poor quality video:
Worth a trip to get me off the mark, and I'm still missing loads of 'easy' birds, including all the Tits and that pesky Kingfisher. Maybe bring some warmer clothing next time though...