18th April 2016 - Rainham Marshes

I woke up the day after getting back from Norfolk expecting to be absolutely exhausted as I'm just coming out of the end of a nasty virus which really aggravated my long term illness, but I was up and about by 8:30 (a miracle for me recently!) so I grabbed my optics and got the train out to Rainham.  It was gloriously sunny but of course pretty much as soon as I left the first hide the rain clouds came rolling in.  I had a walk round with none of the exciting things that had been reported over the weekend but enjoyable nonetheless.  There were plenty of Sand Martin and Swallow, a distant Marsh Harrier and a couple of Avocet.  Plenty of singing Sedge Warbler (not seen or heard a Reed Warbler yet though) and a brief glimpse of my first Whitethroat for the year.  I was wasting a bit of time on the river wall before I had to head back to the station when I heard unmistakeable reeling coming from the reserve side and I made a mad (quiet) quiet scramble down the slope.  I couldn't pinpoint the bird but spotted two gentlemen looking at something and made my way to them.  It had stopped by the time I got there and I resigned myself to this being yet another episode where I heard but didn't see the bird.  After chatting to the gentleman who stayed for around 20 minutes, the reeling started up again, right in front of us and seconds later and Grasshopper Warbler hopped into view.  Lifer!  It was amazing to watch, its whole body vibrating.  I was grinning so much the other guy kept laughing at me, but I think he was happy he'd helped me see a lifer!  Great trip (even if I did miss my train!).

Sedge Warbler
Linnet
Year list: 175
Lifers this year: 11

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