Tuesday 20 May 2014

Cliffe Pools 19/5/14

Had a fantastic hour or so birding yesterday evening at Cliffe RSPB, our main target was to hopefully catch up with the Black-Winged Stilts that have been around since last week.

Arriving just after 7pm myself and Blowmonkey jam in on the immature SPOONBILL that flies over the car heading towards the Thames just as we were approaching the viewing mound. Further on towards the Coastguards pool we find no stilts but the 1st summer LITTLE GULL, two Cuckoo and a family party of Stonechat.

Scanning the pool again, and just when we were about to give up we just catch glimpse of one of the BLACK WINGED STILT wading around in the vegetation, and after several minutes gave us good scope views.

Back to the viewing mound and we pick up a drake GARGANEY and two WOOD SANDPIPER as well as three overhead calling common sands.

A distant calling Tawny Owl was also heard.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

London Wader Fest

With a nice blustery south easterly blowing all day yesterday I gave Rainham Marshes a bash an hour either side of high tide which turned into a bit of a wader fest!

Arriving just as the last patch of mud was about to be covered in Aveley bay I picked up both Grey and Ringed plover's and a single Dunlin (probably the previous days obliging birds)

Scanning across the river I pick out a single Turnstone looking for somewhere to settle, half a dozen Whimbrel on the Kent side and some smaller waders that needed some closer inspection.

Walking east along the seawall I pick up a distant Green Sandpiper over aveley pools, and closer inspection of the Kent side birds reveals 5 Bar-tailed godwits and 3 spanking summer plumaged Knot.

As high tide peaked Whimbrel seem to be calling all over the place with no fewer than 18 birds now on site!


Two Common Sands then appeared over by the barrier (south side) and both Greenshank and Oystercatcher being vocal amoungst the regular Lapwing and Redshank.

The grand finale came in the shape of a Wood Sandpiper that flew in calling before settling briefly in front of the MDZ zone completing a total of fourteen wader species, not bad for this London site.

wood sand  (heavily cropped!!)   

Monday 5 May 2014

Dunlin at Rainham Marshes 4/5/14

A few pics of the confiding Dunlin that accompanied yesterdays Ringed Plover at RM.

Sunday 4 May 2014

Ringed Plover Rainham Marshes 4/5/14

Nice evening stroll along the seawall produced my fourth reeling Grasshopper warbler for the site.

Nice selection of waders included 4 Whimbrel, LRP, Greenshank and a very confiding Ringed Plover and a single Dunlin.

With a bit of fieldcraft both these waders were very approachable, and once they got used to me they passed several times just feet away busily feeding.

Bearded Tit were also noted alongside Marsh Harrier and Kingfisher, many Swifts now in also.