Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rainham Marshes, Essex - 25th March 2009

A trip out to Rainham ostensibly for unrelated work reasons, but also an excuse for a few hours birding in this most picturesque of global landscapes. Nothing particularly stunning, but a few early spring migrants to enjoy, and large numbers of wildfowl. The highlights, excluding the joy of the cold wind and rain, were: six Little Ringed Plovers, a single Ruff, a Brambling on the feeders, and about ten Little Egrets.

With various white-winged gulls reported of late, we took a deep breath, held it for a long as possible and braved the tip for an endless, fruitless fine-toothed comb search through the clouds of large larids with the stench of modern society and squalls of hard-hitting rain for company. It's only occasionally I wonder why I love birding so much, and this was one of those occasions.

However, a visit to the stone barges a mile or so west on the Thames foreshore was, while almost as festering, an absolute treat, on account of no less than 12 Water Pipits at close range, lined up and / or flitting between the barges and the tideline.

Mr. Cook captures the mood and the rain at the Target Pools on the RSPB reserve

The old target practice site, a reminder of when Rainham was MoD hell. Picture of the day, on account of being the only picture of the day not showing a digruntled Hackney birder