A Big British Birding Year: Part III

To really get my numbers up for BBB, I visited one of my favourite sites just out of London: Rainham Marshes.

Marsh

It lived up to its name, as it was impossible to walk all the way around without Wellington boots or getting very wet feet following the floods. But I did manage to see 17 more species of birds to get my numbers up to 48 for the year so far. This included some very common species I just hadn’t managed to photograph yet since 2014 began, such as:

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)

Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

Collared Dove (Streptopelia decoacto)

Collared Dove (Streptopelia decoacto)

Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba)

Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba)

I also saw some fascinating behaviour from other common birds, such as great flocking activity from the thousands of Starlings found at Rainham:

Common Starling (Sturnis vulgaris)

Common Starling (Sturnis vulgaris)

… and a Swan feeding on Common Reed-mace – often called Bulrush – (Typha latifolia):

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)

Scanning the sky, I caught:

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

… and…

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

As is often the way, the most interesting (or rare) birds I photographed were often taken at enormous distances or were heavily obscured such as the merged two shots of a single male (top) and pair (bottom) of Stonechats:

Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

…as well as…

Common Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Common Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

…and…

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

Rainham marshes is only a couple of big deluges away from succumbing to the mighty Thames estuary which runs right next to it:

Thames

The seawall is covered in plastic and other detritus, and I was incredibly lucky to photograph both Meadow and (the rarer) Rock Pipits (left and right respectively on the collage I have made below):

Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis), and Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus)

Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis), and Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus)

And finally, I was very pleased to capture the rare -ish (around 2000 breeding pairs in the UK) and incredibly shy Cetti’s Warbler. The explosively loud warbler is one of the most recent arrivals to the UK; first recorded breeding in the UK in 1973. Unfortunately, I only got heavily obscured shots like the two merged below:

Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cetti)

Cetti’s Warbler (Cettia cetti)

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One thought on “A Big British Birding Year: Part III

  1. Pingback: A Big Birding Year: Part XIX (good creature of mud) | iago80

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