24th February 2013 - Rainham Marshes

Another freezing cold day made us decide Dungeness would be an extremely bad plan, leading to frostbite and a hatred of Kent.  Therefore we moseyed on up to Rainham Marshes, knowing we could retreat home quickly if it got any colder.  A Barn Owl had been sitting on the owl box, so we took the route the opposite way round to usual - anti-clockwise.  This was painful as I have bizarre OCD things about stuff like that.  Anyway, I got dragged that way round and it got worse as we came across a Blackbird on its back in the path.  It was still breathing but looked so cold.  Being me, I was distraught for most of the way around.  The analytical, science bit of me completely understands that fluffy cute things have to die and it will probably feed another fluffy cute fox or something, but the tearful I LOVE CUTE THINGS side of me always wins.  It's a bit embarrassing.  A Hen Harrier had been seen over the reserve that morning, which would have been our first, but only Marsh Harrier were around when we were there.  (Of course it was reported an hour after we left too.  Always the way).  We nearly fell off the boardwalk when a small dark brown bird shot out of the reeds to our left and started doing the loudest alarm call I have ever heard.  We thought it must be a Cetti's, but were confused by how out in the open it was and by the unfamiliar call.  Upon getting home we confirmed the call, but were still a little puzzled by the odd behaviour.  Ah well, first Cetti's Warbler for the year!    

Day list: 38
Year list: 92
Lifers of year list: 5


This Magpie had stunning blue feathers - quite hard to see here though...

Wigeon field!

Kestrel time

Pochard attempting to walk on water

The Kestrel has a rest and looks cute



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