Monday 6 May 2024

An afternoon at Rainham Marshes

Here are some pictures and a couple of videos from yesterday's visit to Rainham Marshes. I've included a few that are not good photographs but are quite interesting.

The Woodchat Shrike, visible for several days previously, had disappeared and no one there had seen it all day. But a good consolation prize was a female Kingfisher bringing a fish to her young.

There were plenty of Sedge Warblers. One showed well in a hawthorn bush by the river wall.

It called and sang, though there wasn't a clear view through the leaves then.

A Linnet settled in a flowering dogwood bush.

There were several Whitethroats. One sang from a bramble.

A Lesser Whitethroat could also be heard but wouldn't come into sight.

A single male Wheatear flew around on the edge of the river.

A Goldfinch ate dandelion seeds that had fallen off the seed heads into the grass.

There was a very distant view of a Corn Bunting on a wire fence ...

... and another of a Cuckoo flying past a pylon.

Little Egrets waded around in the muddy shallows.

Common Terns are nesting on a raft recently provided for them. One flew up to scare off a Black-Headed Gull which had been circling ominously.

A Little Grebe did that typical grebe shrug (which, a regular readers of this blog will remember, is mentioned by Jane Austen in Persuasion).

Two Avocets had a chick each. Here are a parent and chick ...

... and a slightly closer look at the other chick. Its bill is already turned up in that charming Avocet curve.

A Lapwing buzzed a family of Canada Geese.

Marsh Frogs were making a racket all over the reserve.

A Peacock butterfly perched on a reed.

A blackthorn bush had a web spun by caterpillars which I thought were those of the Lackey Moth, Malacosoma neustria. But Tom's friend at Rainham, Howard, who is an insect maven, says that they're of the Brown-Tail Moth, Euproctis chrysorrhoea, and the hairs are toxic.


  1. Lovely set Ralph. Just back from a lovely week in northern Greece where Corn Buntings, Cuckoos & Marsh Frogs were all everyday sightings.

  2. Sounds wonderful (if a bit croaky). I see I got the caterpillar wrong as usual.

  3. Wow, I have never seen Sedge Warblers or Corn Buntings!

    1. All these delights are available at Rainham, and the weather at the weekend looks pleasant.

  4. Wow, what a marvellous visit! A balm for the soul and the mind. No wonder you took 500+ pictures; I wouldn't know when to stop pressing the shooter.

    1. I didn't. That's why the second blog post went up at 1.33 the following morning. There should be moderation in all things.