Monday, 10 April 2017

RSPB Rainham Marshes, 9th April 2017

Yesterday we went to Rainham Marshes for the first time in 3 years. After a late night the day before, we arrived at around midday. At the cafe, we met Howard, who told us exactly what had been seen so far (as well as why people who read lots of books are normal!) In the entrance area, there were plenty of House Sparrow, 2 Reed Bunting, a couple of Cetti's Warbler and many other small birds. 
Collared Dove

m Reed Bunting
We started along, anticlockwise, towards the woodland area; along with the occasional Cetti's Warbler, there were Blackcap, Chiffchaff and some Linnet. Butterflies included 6 Orange Tip, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Green-veined White and 1 Wall Brown, as well as lots of Red Admiral, Peacock and Small white.
Speckled Wood

Continuing onwards, we reached the Reedbeds. Here more Cetti's Warblers were singing, and many different ducks and geese were swimming. A Water Vole from the Ken Barrett hide was also a nice surprise. Further inwards, a highlight of the day was when a small bird darted over all the reeds coming from the direction of the river and straight into the reeds, where it sang for a few minutes. A fresh Reed Warbler! Further onwards, Marsh Frogs 'sang' from the reeds and more Peacocks flew about. 

Marsh frog
At the Shooting Butts hide, much more was on view. A Marsh Harrier, perched about 1km off, was definitely not stunning, but Redshank, Snipe, Lapwing, Little Egret as well as the normal Pochards and a Kestrel made it worthwhile. 


A spotty Redshank - but not Spotted!

Little egret



Marsh Harrier - trust me!

A Little Grebe nesting 2m from the Boardwalk was causing a stir among some birders, and a baby which managed to get a reaction from a Marsh Frog was amusing! Then on the sea front, a Little Ringed Plover was near some Shelduck. Skylarks were singing non-stop but never gave themselves up, making it increasingly frustrating for me to get a picture!
LRP, Shelduck, Redshank
A Snipe whizzed over, and a Green-veined White butterfly was added. 
Green-veined white

Little Grebe
As we trudged back, a male Pheasant appeared as did another Reed Bunting and the goldfinches were singing in the Blossom.


Reed Bunting
Overall, a very nice day in the 25 degrees sunshine! With 7 days left of my holiday, hopefully I can fit in another walk somewhere or the other!


  1. I'm struggling to see the Marsh Harrier in the photo labelled Marsh Harrier- trust me! where exactly is it?

  2. The Marsh Harrier was sitting on the post from near the A13. It was so far away, with the heat haze, that the bird looked very peculiar and much more orange. Some real birders, nothing like me, had watched it fly onto it and had been watching it for what they said was a while. They also said it looked like a juvenile; how they could tell from that distance I have no clue! Later on I watched it leave from the post and got an even worse picture of it in flight.

  3. It looks like you have taken a picture of an angled concrete post with a rounded end, which is shining in the sun, giving the impression of a golden head of a juvenile Marsh Harrier. If you zoom in you can clearly see the wires passing through the angled top end.

    1. Ok thanks for pointing that out.
      I definitely watched a Marsh Harrier on the post, but at such a distance that when photographing I must have taken a picture of the wrong post.

    2. You welcome, thanks for your time and replies.

  4. Black-veined White became extinct in Britain in 1925.