Friday 2 November 2018

Today's visit to Rainham Marshes, as hoped,  produced a Short-Eared Owl just before sunset. It flew around the reserve, occasionally pouncing into the grass ...

... and then settled on an electric fence in front of a red-leafed bush, beautifully illuminated by the setting sun.

Here is a video of it looking around, a bit shaky because it was shot at an enormous zoom level hand-held.

There are now two Cattle Egrets at Rainham Marshes. Both were flying about.

The cows are still not letting them pick off and eat their parasites, though there has been a single sighting of an egret on a cow's back. This bird contented itself with finding insects in the grass.

This is just an ordinary Grey Heron, but pleasingly reflected.

A Ruff probed the mud for small edible creatures.

There were plenty of Teal.

Several Stonechats flitted around the bushes.

I left as the sun set over the Thames estuary.


  1. Oh wow, what a magnificent shot of the Short-Eared Owl in a glorious blaze of red and gold. That must have been breathtaking in person. Congratulations!

    Give them time and Cattle Egrets will conquer England. They are everywhere except the Antarctic.

    1. That owl was a heaven-sent chance. It was a real 'Visit to Owl Springs' moment.

      Little Egrets are spreading fast here, and both Cattle and Great Egrets are becoming commoner. It's time that English cows realised that Cattle Egrets are good for them.