Tuesday 9 April 2019

A quick early tour of the park before visiting Rainham Marshes. It was misty and the light was very dim, so all today's pictures are a bit dingy.

Blackcaps sang all around the Long Water.

A Wren perched on a hawthorn twig.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes made a nest under the fallen willow near the bridge. They have made several vague attempts at nesting here, and this one may come to nothing.

But the nest at the east end of the island, won back from Coots, is now firmly occupied.

The platform of Bluebird Boats had only just been hosed down in preparation for the day's boat hire, but already a Coot was starting a nest on it.

The nest at the Dell restaurant in being built up to a good size.

A Pochard drake dived to look for food under the concrete edge of the Serpentine, where tiny creatures lurk in the algae.

Rainham Marshes is known for its wide and interesting range of wetland birds, but today's best picture from there was of a Robin feeding his mate -- a demonstration that he will provide for her when she is nesting.

A Chiffchaff sang in the top of a hawthorn tree.

A Dunnock found a larva on the tarmac path.

There was a Reed Bunting in the reeds beside the river.

A Lapwing was on her nest. You can see two eggs.

Another Lapwing looked for worms and insects in the long grass.

You can hear a Skylark in this clip, and here it is.

A Redshank flew across the water.

Three Curlews passed overhead.

A Little Egret stalked along the edge.

Two Marsh Harriers ranged over the reserve.

We had a very distant view of a Raven, a rare bird around London.

There were plenty of Little Gulls. At one point 13 flew up the river.

A flight of Gadwalls went by, with three drakes pursuing a female.

I suppose you ought to call a Shelduck drake a Sheldrake. Anyway, they are very decorative.

A flotilla of Common Scoters sat far out in the middle of the river.


  1. A Raven at Rainham Marshes- I'm impressed. Had no idea we get them in the South East. Although, come to think , I've no idea where I'd expect to get them? Just don't think I've ever seen one, other than incarcerated.

    1. Ravens do get reported around the fringes of London from time to time on the London Bird Club Wiki. They used to be common in the southeast, but have been squeezed out by urbanisation.

  2. Great pictures of Rainham Marshes! It always looks like a bird paradise.

    Where do the ravens from the London Tower come from? I know they are captive-bred, but I always wondered.

    There is nothing quite like the song of an English Skylark.

    1. I don't know where the Ravens at the Tower come from. It's possible that the current lot were all hatched here, since the last record I can find of Ravens being bought in is from 1945.

  3. You obviously picked a good day to visit Rainham with the Little Gulls, Common Scoter + Raven.

    1. It was indeed. But there's always something interesting there.

  4. I think Shelduck drakes are all called Rupert.