Thursday, 16 July 2015

Rainham Marshes 2 - The Beardies Strike Back

June 25th 2015.

Second visit to RSPB Rainham Marshes.  Quest was twofold, firstly, are the Bearded Tits still showing?, and secondly, is my sandwich ready yet? (you'll need to read my first Rainham blog for further details).

As usual I started with a coffee and a view across the reserve, chatting to the volunteers about recent sightings.  One volunteer, I'll call him Adrian, (although his name was Howard! suggested I went down the ramp and turned right and walked round the reserve anti-clockwise as it were.

OK, so bottom of the ramp and turn left (sorry Adrian but I want the sun behind me).  Straightaway, a Sedge Warbler singing from the reeds & small bushes along the ditch.  Eventually I got a snap or two.

Not a bad start!
I missed out the hides on the trail wanting to get to the Dragonfly Ponds where the Beardies had been seen previously.  Stopped once or twice briefly to observe Reed Warblers and a large-ish group of Starlings.
Then an eruption of noise, what the hell is that!?  Fortunately for me an RSPB volunteer was in the area and he informed me the source of the noise was these

Marsh Frogs

I'd not heard them before, what a din but quite fascinating to hear and to see them in the ditches.  I did observe that they also followed the "Rules of Birding", alluded to in previous blogs, as they stopped "performing" when I pointed my camera at them!  Quite a surprise to see & hear.
And so to the Dragonfly Ponds, and thankfully, after a few minutes, Bearded Tits started to appear in the reeds and around the pools.  I only saw "juveniles" though others did report seeing adults in the area too.

 and a juvenile Reed Warbler not wanting to feel left out.

On the trail I also spotted a Redshank seemingly auditioning for BGT

and a pair of Linnets not sure if they wanted to be included in the photo-shoot or not.

After lunch, which was served in 15 minutes and was more than acceptable (again I refer you to my previous Rainham blog), I had a walk along the Thames outside of the reserve, Seals had been reported but I couldn't see any today as the tide went out.
All in all, a good day and my faith restored in RSPB Rainham Marshes, AND only 50 minutes driving each way - the M25, on a good day as good as sliced bread!


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