13th January - Rainham Marshes, The Chase

Rainham, as usual, was glorious.  The car park was full of House Sparrow as usual, which was great - it wasn't on our year list yet!  A tip off by the lovely lady at the desk in the centre lead to our first sighting of Corn Bunting in the UK - 4 of them in fact.  I got distracted whilst Stuart analysed them through the scope by an amazingly beautiful Stonechat. Back on the reserve we got the usual bonanza of finches and Collared Dove on the feeders and ducks on Purfleet Scrape.  A decent count of 6 Snipe were to be seen, but we were disappointed when we got back to the centre later and discovered a Jack Snipe had been seen and we had missed it.  A few Reed Bunting were around and eventually we added Wren to the year list after a few near misses.  I spotted a flock of about 10 waders flying by but couldn't pinpoint them quick enough for Stuart to see and ID, so I spent the rest of the walk around being teased about the imaginary waders I had seen - grrr!  I had the last laugh though as we rounded the last corner and I spotted my imaginary waders which had multiplied in size - to a flock of a 100 Dunlin.  Excellent.

A trip to The Chase Country Park was meant to be quick as I was flagging somewhat but took slightly longer due to a lot of mud navigating!  It gained us Green Woodpecker however and it's always great to see a flock of Long-tailed Tit.

Corn Bunting

Stonchat...somewhere in there

Day list: 44
Year list: 70
Lifers on year list: 5


  1. Hi coincidence we are hoping to pop into Rainham on Sunday (weather permitting!)we are going down to visit Mike (Jen's Brother) so you have whetted our appetite!

    1. I love Rainham, always get a good list there - hope it's great for you on Sunday! If you want to see the Corn Buntings, they were hanging around the river bank of weeds and rubbish outside the reserve. Head left down the path before you go through the door to the reserve and there's a path that goes downhill a little onto the path through the weeds. Not the best description but hopefully you'll see what I mean when you get there! If not, the staff inside the reserve will be able to point you in the right direction, they're really helpful.