Nov 272012

After almost non-stop drizzly rain on Saturday it was lovely to have a breezy, sunny Sunday at Rainham for our group meeting. There were plenty of small birds around the visitor centre taking turns to jump onto the feeders. Greenfinches, goldfinches, house sparrows, collared doves and starlings chatted in the bushes.

We followed the trail into the woodland area and managed to catch glimpses of redwings in the hawthorns, and a fleeting view of that rather rare bird, the song thrush! Blackbirds too were eating the berries. We could see how the native hawthorn and it’s berries is such an important food plant for our winter thrushes. Councils & landowners should plant many more of these in our hedgerows.

Out on the flooded marsh plenty of greylag and canada geese were loafing, while lapwings stood patiently waiting for the tide to turn and a few curlews and black-tailed godwits fed nearby.

Further along the path two stonechats sat up on fence posts and in the undergrowth a cetti’s warbler sang a rather offkey version of it’s spring song. Although we are still going into winter it’s comforting to hear birdsong like this now and again.

Later from the hides we could see shoveler ducks, coots, tufted ducks (one female looking a bit like a scaup…), lapwing, mallards, gadwall and two snipe tucked into the grass.

Between us we managed to spot 44 species of birds, not bad in such a busy part of the Thames. As we sat having lunch in Rainham’s wildflower area, we reminded ourselves how easily this marshland could have been lost to a theme park, or worse, leaving thousands of birds without the space they need to thrive, and leaving us in much the same situation….


 Posted by on 27 November 2012 at 4:49 pm