Friday 16 July 2021

A quick visit to the park before going to Rainham Marshes found a Blackcap singing near the leaf yard ...

... a Great Spotted Woodpecker beside the Long Water ...

... and a Chiffchaff calling nearby.

Neil sent a picture of a young Robin near the Albert Memorial developing its adult red front.

Insects included what I thought was a Gypsy Cuckoo Bee on an Agustache in the Rose Garden. Conehead 54 thinks it's more likely to be a Vestal Cuckoo Bee.

Neil also took this picture of a Marbled White butterfly in Brompton Cemetery, where they are abundant.

While walking from Purfleet station to Rainham, Tom and I found a Jersey Tiger Moth in a hedge in the street.

At the Marshes there was a Little Grebe washing on the edge of the reeds ...

... and another with a chick.

Black-Tailed Godwits lined up on the edge of the river.

There were a fair number of Lapwings -- this is a young one.

Shelducks flew past.

There were several families of Tufted Ducks, and also of Common Pochards, species that hardly ever manage to breed in Hyde Park.

Little Egrets stalked through the reeds ...

... where a male Reed Bunting sang.

House Sparrows, once abundant in Central London, have now almost disappeared, so it was a pleasure to hear their cheerful bickering at Rainham Marshes.

A Common Seal fished in the river -- or maybe a Grey Seal, according to Conehead 54. This distant picture, the only one where a reasonable amount of the creature was out of the water, is not good enough to be sure.

Several Marsh Frogs reclined in the ditches.

A Six-Spot Burnet Moth perched on a knapweed flower.

A leaf-cutter bee was carrying a bit of cut leaf. I can't guess the species, as I only got pictures from this angle.

Dragonflies included a male Ruddy Darter...

... and a female Common Darter.


  1. What a productive visit to Rainham marshes! So many birds! I was astounded to hear the slight but perceivable differences in English House Sparrows' calls compared to ours. It's like a different dialect.

    Lovely to see the Little Grebe with its chick. It too has stripes!

    The young Lapwing is a real beauty, even if it still has to grow its adult hairdo.

    1. Rainham is a wonderful place, with plenty to see even at the slowest point of the summer.

      I think all species of grebe have stripy chicks except the big American Clark's and Western Grebes which have plain coloured ones.

  2. Great selection of insect photos from Rainham. The top darter is a Ruddy Darter as the legs are all black. Nice to see Jersey Tigers are starting to emerge as I usually see a few.

    I'm wondering if the seal might in fact be a Grey Seal as it seems to have a more Roman nose look to it? I know both species are seen there, though Common is the more numerous.

    Love the Marsh Frogs-one of the real characters of Rainham on a warm day-must get there again soon.

    I think your cuckoo bee is more likely to be Vestal but is very similar to Gypsy, though latter is more frequent in the north & Vestal down here.

    I managed 19 butterfly species at Bookham Common yesterday, but the 20th- the Purple Emperor eluded me!

    1. Thanks. I think I would have spotted the Ruddy Darter sideways-on from the shape of the abdomen, but one can't choose the angles of hasty photographs.

      I'll leave the question of the seal open, as it was a long way off and that was the only halfway decent picture I got.

      Will amend my note about the cuckoo bee.

      Have never seen a Purple Emperor in my life. But 19 butterfly species in a day is truly impressive.