1st May 2013 - Rainham Marshes

My next long venture out on my own was to Rainham Marshes, on a similarly gorgeous day to when I ventured to Crayford.  Unsurprisingly, I got sunburnt, even with the preparation of factor 50 suncream.  It's great being pale.

I took a wander along the river before going in the RSPB reserve, a wander which would have been pretty pointless due to the lack of birds apart from a stunning Hobby, a first for the year.  A Kestrel was also kind enough to hover overhead, although looking back at the photos, they're pretty cr*p.  There were also small bunnies hopping around, which always makes me happy.  I was convinced I heard and then saw a Reed Warbler, but not convinced enough to write it down.  Still on the hunt for that one for this year.  Into the reserve I go.  As with the walks I had been on in the previous week, Whitethroat were abundant and Lesser Whitethroat invisible.  One Whitethroat seemed to follow me for a while - he was rather strange, with a huge fluffy white beard and he kept doing somersaults off the branches.  Odd.  The Grey Heron and Little Egret were in plentiful supply, with around 8 Grey Heron and 4 Little Egret.  However, one Little Egret did learn the peril of stepping too close to a Lapwing nest as he got spectacularly attacked.

A couple of Sedge Warbler were seen and a few delightful Reed Bunting, both male and female.  Two Redshank flew overhead and a Swallow briefly graced us with its presence.  I heard the first Cuckoo of the year which was awesome and at the same time saw a swimming Water Vole!  I did then get carried away a little sitting by the feeders and missed the 5pm closing time.  Being me, I had just assumed that a gate would be left open like at Pulborough or Dungeness.  Beware, this is not the case!  Hilarity ensued as I exited through a turnstile into a car park.  A fully locked and fenced car park.  Well done Therese.  I spent a while wandering around debating the logistics of climbing the fences (pretty impossible), calling the police (embarrassing) or sleeping with the House Sparrow lot in the middle (most likely).  Luckily, I spotted a gap under one of the gates and shimmied under, covering myself in mud and scratches in the process.  That'll teach me.  I'm pretty sure the suits getting on the train at Canary Wharf appreciated having to stand next to me.

Trip list: 46
Year list: 150
Lifers of year list: 16

So pretty.  And look, there is Crayford on the other side of the Thames!




One of the many Little Grebe

Sedge Warbler

Why you shouldn't go near a Lapwing's nest

I'm good at making friends

Mute Swan

Collared Dove

A rubbish video of the lapwing doing his last attack on the Little Egret!


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