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