Over the last few weekends we have taken advantage of the good weather and visited Rainham Marshes several times. We saw lots of red admiral butterflies on the buddleia and a stunning comma, also several large wasp spiders.
The first few wigeon had arrived last weekend and we also saw green sandpiper and lots of snipe. We were sitting on a bench having lunch watching a hobby which was being annoyed by two kestrels, when one of the kestrels landed on a fence post near to us and we watched it eat a dragonfly.
We have since found out that it is not uncommon for kestrels to do this when dragonflies are abundant.
We went last weekend hoping for a glimpse of the rare Baillon’s Crake which had turned up there, but didn’t even go in to the hide as it was very crowded. Instead we had excellent views of water voles – up to 5 in one small area.
We watched them for quite a while swimming and stopping to eat reeds.
This weekend we went back to Rainham on Sunday afternoon and were very lucky to get good views of the Baillon’s Crake after only two hours wait – some other people had been in the hide all day and for hours the previous day and the previous weekend hoping to see it!
While we were watching for it, we saw a whinchat land on the reeds in front of the hide.
Sue and Ian Griffin