Rainham Marshes & Oare Marshes 14/10/17

Today we got up early and went down to Rainham Marshes for kid’s bird watching and afterwards we went to Oare Marshes to see the Wilsons Phalarope and Long Billed Dowitcher.

We went to Rainham earlier today to find something different, when we got there we started looking round.  A Ruff was wading feeding in Purfleet Pools and a Bullfinch flew over our heads.  We continued to walk down the river wall and found a Marsh Harrier flying above the reeds hunting.  It was windy and the tide was in therefore there was not much about in the bay, apart from a few gulls and a Curlew feeding.



When we went on the walk with Howard along the sea wall there was lots of Chaffinch and Goldfinch going up river.  There was also some Rock Pipits, Linnits and even two Siskins flying amongst them.

As we entered through the gate there were some Stonechat and we heard some Bearded Tits ping, but did not see them.  Near the Butts Hide there was a Buzzard circling and was being mobbed by some Crows.  It was a quiet day with not much about, most of the small birds were keeping out of the wind.



We left Rainham to go to Kent to see the Long Billed Dowitcher and Wilson’s Phalarope.  When we arrived there was lots of Golden Plover, Back Tailed Godwits and Redshank in the pools.  There were a few other people there and someone kindly pointed out the Phalarope.  It was following behind a Shovler eating all the creatures that the Shovler had disturbed.  We were watching it going backwards and forwards following the Shovler.

Wilsons Phalarope

Distance Wilson’s Phalarope following a Shovler

Then we turned to the little lagoon to the right and there were three Little Stints wondering round near the water edge on the mud.  There were also some Avocet, Greenshank and a Ruff wading looking for food.  We continued looking for the Dowitcher, but could not find it.  We got in the car and was just leaving when someone spotted it.  I jumped out of the car and was super lucky to see it.

Long Billed Dowitcher

Long Billed Dowitcher

It was a tremendous and lucky end to the day.


Spotted Crake at Ingrebourne Valley

Today (23/09/17) I hoped to see a Spotted Crake that had been there for the past week. I tried Thursday and had no luck so hoped to find it today.

As we started to walk down a path a flock of Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits was jumping around in the tress with a Gold Crest amongst them. When we got there it was see two minutes ago and a few minutes later my dad found it behind a willow tree. It started coming close but disappeared again.

Spotted Crake 1

I started looking for some other birds in the pool. The ducks are starting to come back because there was more teal. At the back near the mud there was some green sandpipers and 20 Snipe. I’d never seen that many Snipe before in one go! There was a lot of mute swans as well as Canada, Greylag Geese flying in. In the distant trees two Ring Necked Parakeets was squawking mad.

We then watch the Spotted Crake feeding in the reads. Very happy to see the Crake, makes up for Thursday and nice seeing very close as well.

Spotted Crake 2

Kids bird watching Rainham Marshes 09/09/2017

In the centre a Kingfisher was hovering over a lagoon and a Grey Wagtail landed on a bench. As we started the walk we were on the sea wall and Howard pointed out some Yellow Legged Gulls, Little Egrets and Greenshank. Nearing the bay I found a Beetle with red legs, also at that time two Kestrels were hovering in the distance. As we was looking at the Kestrel Howard noticed a Buzzard getting mobbed by some Rooks. We continued to the bay and saw a group of Black Tailed Godwits and carried on as there was not much else to see. We walked down through the gate and started looking on the fence posts for a Whinchat, because it was what we aimed to see today. Whilst walking towards the dragonfly pools we kept a look out. We heard a faint Bearded Tit call in the far reeds. On the fence there was an Ant Mimic Jumping Spider that without looking properly, it really looked like an ant. Then a Common Darter landed next to it. On the wall near the hide there was a Weasel hunting and everyone on the walk was really excited that they had seen it. As we were approaching the butt’s hide a Marsh Marrier was flying. We made our way to Averly pool, found some Reed Dagger Caterpillars and a Slender Groundhopper. I haven’t seen a Groundhopper for two years and neither had Howard. When we got to Averly pool there was a group of Hobbies and Kestrel sparring and that was amazing. At the end of the board walk a Common Lizard was there and I got a nice picture. In the kids play area there was a Wasp Spider and a very small bee and I took a photo of it when it was on Howard’s finger. We then had lunch in the centre before we went out to the Serin Mound as we had not seen our Whintchat. At the Serin Mound I wanted to find a Whinchat and after a few minutes there was four sitting in a tree. A happy end to a fantastic day.

Rainham Marshes 05/09/2017

Just before we go back to school I went to Rainham Marshes today. As we were walking along the sea wall, a Kestrel flew overhead and was hovering over the Serin mound. In the bay there were a few Avocet and some Black Tailed Godwits. Over behind the Butts hide there was a Marsh Harrier gliding over the reeds looking for some prey. At the board walk there were some more Black Tailed Godwits feeding and a grey Heron hunting for fish at the back of the pool. With them there were some ducks such as Tufted, Shovler, Mallard, Teal and Coots. In the woodland there was a group of Blue and Long Tailed Tits flying from tree to tree. There was also a Rhingia Campestris hoverfly sitting nicely in the Cordite store. As I sat down on the bench a noon fly landed next to me and I got a photo straight away. Nearing the centre a man kindly pointed out a wasp spider sitting on an egg sack this was a lovely surprise because you don’t normally find them together at the same time. Below are some of the photos that I took today.





We was camping at bird fair and staying the weekend. When we arrived we were greeted by a lovely couple called John and Janet (they are the people who run the camping area), they showed us to our spot and mum and dad started putting up the tent. When they were finished we went into Bird Fair.

The first stall we visited was the Urban Birder (David Lindo) as Louise Moss from RSPB Rainham Marshes was working with David during this event. Next we went to the moth releasing. We saw a rare Bedstraw Hawkmoth and now I am 33 on my life list of moths that I just started. We then walked around the marquees.

Moths we saw at the releasing in the marquee

In the afternoon we went on a bug hunt with Mike Dilger and caught many insects. After the bug hunt we went to the bird ringing stall and I was allowed to release a Reed Warbler and my brother released a Sedge Warbler. After dinner (sausages from one of the stalls) dad and I went for a walk round the reserve, we saw a Kingfisher, Red-Crested Pochard and a Marsh Harrier.

Photos frim bug hunt


Today we went to the BTO bird ringing stall because the BTO was doing a guided walk. I released a Blue Tit before we went. I really like the bird ringing as you do not know what you are going to find and releasing the bird is a bonus.

Ringing Wren

Warbler about to be released

In the woodland we saw a Goldcrest and heard a Treecreeper. After the woodland we went into the Shovler hide and saw a Black Tern! In the next hide (which was the Dunlin hide) an Osprey flew over and a Red Kite was circling in the distance. Later a Yellow Wagtail flew over. I enjoyed walk as I would have not found the Black Tern without the guides help.

After the walk I noticed Andy Swash was signing his moth book so daddy bought me the book and I asked Andy to sign it. Then I noticed that Nick Baker was also signing his new book which he very kindly signed for my brother. Soon it was time for our bug hunt with Roger and Rosie, we managed to find lots of different bugs. Then dad advised us it was time for Mike Dilger’s “How to be a Wildlife Presenter” so we made our way to the main marquee and took our seats. It was very interesting because he told us different keys to being a presenter.

Then we walked to the RSPB Marquee as we heard Bill Oddie was going to be there signing his new book. We bought his new book which he signed. I forgot to ask him to sign my note book where I write all the species down that I see. As there as no-one in line I asked him to sign it and spoke to him as well. I spoke about what we had seen last night and this morning. He was interested and was asking me questions about what I had listed.

After dinner we went for a walk, we managed to find the Black Tern again and watched the sun set. There was hundreds of geese flying about, which also kept us awake at night. We was also using our bat detector and managed to see Pipistrelle bats.


Today we got up early because we thought we might see something different. Dad was woken up by the geese again at 6am. First we went to the sandpiper hide. The yellow wagtail flew over again. There were some wader’s on the mud which were a ringed plover, dunlin and a redshank. We then went into the woodland. We saw a group of Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits and with them a Treecreeper was climbing a tree. We continued watching them and a spotted flycatcher was hunting behind us and a Goldcrest hiding in the tree. There was also a Robin, Wren, Blackbird and Blackcap all in the same tree. We then went to the Shovler hide to see if the Black Tern was still there and it was further away. After a few minutes TWO Ospreys flew over. We got told that there was a Black Tailed Godwit over in other hide. We went to find it and saw a Curlew as well as the Godwit.

When we went to the fair we went straight to the pond dipping. We caught lots of dragonfly nymph and great diving beetles, also newt tadpoles. After that we went to the pond creature’s talk which was given by Neil Phillips.

Photos from pond dipping

We started to walk around waiting for when Steve Backshaw was signing books. Then got our book signed by Steve. While we was walking about I got a spider book signed by all the authors. After that we went to watch the Beatrix potter play with all the celebrities and that was funny. After the play we went home.

In total I saw 78 different birds over the weekend.

This year Bird Fair was supporting the Rapa Fruit Dove.