Feb 042019
 

While the rest of the country struggled with snowy weather, Rainham Marshes was bathed in sunshine with white fluffy clouds set in a sky of blue. Despite a cold north wind and a little snow here and there, our visit was well worth it. It was a lovely day for fresh air, exercise and almost 60 species of birds!

In cold weather birds will flock to feeding stations such as that at Rainham. From the warmth of the visitor centre, we could see finches, tits, house sparrows, reed buntings, dunnocks and pheasants coming to the ‘tree branches’ where the seed feeders hang. Nearby along the river wall, redwings, blackbirds and field fares were feeding in the hawthorns that still had berries.

Along the boardwalk every so often, we were waylaid by a robin. It would sit on a branch very close to the path, hoping for a titbit in return for posing for a photograph.

It’s always exciting to see birds of prey and four marsh harriers, a buzzard, a kestrel and most exciting of all perhaps, a beautifully-marked short-eared owl, were hunting over the reserve.

 

During a tea break in the visitor centre we discussed and compared bird sightings, though some of us preferred to discuss and compare lens sizes!

Our sightings serve to remind us that Rainham Marshes, despite being surrounded by roads, railways, industrial areas, landfill tips, housing estates and turbines, is an incredibly important sanctuary for wild birds and other animals – an essential Home for Nature.

Sally

Thanks to Terry for the robin and Steve for the absolutely stunning short – eared owl photo. Now you know how it’s done (plus skill, of course!). Thanks to me for the photo. of the lenses. Great picture! Malcolm

(Late addition), We tried every single robin that we saw.

None  had read the script. Thanks for the photograph Nick.

 Posted by on 4 February 2019 at 1:03 pm

  2 Responses to “Group Trip to Rainham RSPB Reserve”

Comments (2)
  1. A lovely day out at this great reserve – even the weather was kind to us. The shortie was definitely the highlight of the day for me, especially being so close and a pleasure to photograph. Thanks to Malcolm (patch) for leading and the report.

  2. Sorry, meant to say Malcolm and Sally for leading and the reports.

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