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Thursday, 20 January 2011

Caspian Gull at Rainham Marshes

This Cetti's Warbler showed very well in a ditch next to the tip at Rainham

   My second visit to Rainham Marshes, found me looking into the tip where I saw last weeks Slaty-backed Gull only to find that gulls had moved somewhere else on the tip, out of sight. I returned back to the car, when I heard the call of a Cetti's Warbler in a ditch next to the path where I was walking. It gave a burst of song and after a few minutes showed well. Jonny Bushnell joined me and both of us enjoyed views of the the bird performing out in the open with a Water Rail just below in the ditch.
  John stayed in the car while I went looking for gulls in the fields from the Serin Mound. Here I found two other birders, one called Ian who works for Birdwatch Magazine, and 1000's of gulls, way off in the distance in the fields. I started scanning and a good half an hour later I found a 2nd winter Caspian Gull! The very bird I was hopping to see. I put the other birders on to it, but it was too far away to get any footage of it. I thought this was the first Caspian Gull that I have ever seen, but then I thought back and I found two birds at a tip in Telford, Shropshire, some five or six years ago. One of the birds stuck around at the tip for everyone to enjoy. Ian told me about Water Pipits on the shore of the Thames on the reserve. John and I spent some time walking up and down the banks of the river, but all we could produce were 4 Rock Pipits. There were hundreds of Wigeon on both the Thames and the reserve and in the sme fields as the gulls, there were 100+Stock Doves!

This Cetti's Warbler continued to sing despite the noise from the artics going past a few meters from the

One of the 4 Rock Pipits on the shore of the River Thames

  John had a soup at the reserve cafe, while I drove ten minutes down the road, over the otherside of the M25, to check out the 140 Waxwings at West Thurrock. I found them in a car park near lakeside showing down to a few meters as they fed on berries. I counted 123 Waxwings in total and before this, 65 was the most I had ever seen. These birds were in the car park and were supurb and didn't give a damn about anything as they showed off in front of other birders and people shopping in the area.

Waxwings everywhere!

You can never get bored of these beauties!

 Returning back to Rainham and just a short walk around from the main car park, could only produce a male Cetti's Warbler singing on and off in the reeds. 

Rain Marshes looking from the RSPB center

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