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.
Today (08/09/17) was another late night opening and moth trapping .We didn’t go around the reserve because it was pouring down with rain. We set up the moth trap a bit later.
As soon as we set it up a snout flew in and that was the only snout of the night. Shortly after a Plume moth flew in, but didn’t land so we were unable to catch it. There were Brimstone moths like last week but not as many, instead we had lots of Square Spot Rustics. There were also a few Common and Silky Wainscots. Immediately after an Oak Hook Tip flew into the trap followed by a Blood-Vein but this moth didn’t want to be caught and flew right over the trap. Other moths I caught were:-
Setaceous Hebrew Character, Dusky Thorn, Yellow Stern, 4 Old Ladys, Common Carpet, Light Emerald and Angle Shade. The best part of the night was capturing one called a Flounced Rustic this has not been seen at Rainham Marshes before so this was a real treat for everyone.
Here are some pictures that I took
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.
BIRD FAIR 2017 – FRIDAY 18 TO SUNDAY 20 AUGUST 2017, RUTLAND WATER.
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.
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.
Today (01/09/17) there was a late night opening and moth trapping at Rainham Marshes. There were lots of gold finches coming into roost. We heard the ping of a bearded tit near the numbers, whilst walking round and had a nice view of a hobby sitting on a post.
At the moth trapping we caught a huge old lady moth, which was hard to catch. The people were amazed how big it was as it was a similar size to a hawk moth. We caught a few thorns (dusky and august), but you can also get canary shoulder but we did not get one this evening.
The most common moths that we caught were brimstone and setaceous hebrew characters. The brimstones were coming in every few minutes and were bright yellow. We had a few moths going on the wire connected to the bulb, one was an interesting orange swift and a few snouts as well. Some of the snouts had their snouts half missing. There was some large and lesser yellow underwings, when they opened their wings you could see the yellow hindwing.
Closer to the end we caught more willow beauties and a plume moth. The plume moth did not look like a moth it looked more like a giant white gnat but more T shaped. There were also lots of pugs which are hard to identify, we did manage to identify one as a slender pug. We also a caught a clay and a light brown apple moth. There is another late night opening with moths next Friday, I wonder what we will find.
Below are some photos from the evening.
In May 2016 there was a photo competition at Canvey Island and my photos were through to the last round. Mike Dilger from The One Show was the judge, he was also supervising the guided walks. We decided to go on one of them before the judging of the photos began.
On the walk I pointed out a Skylark and Reed Warbler by recognising their bird song and Mike was impressed. As we walked along my dad suddenly stopped because there was an Adder resting under his foot. He had noticed it just in time before stepping on it. As we continued on towards the hide Mike warned us to be quiet as there was a Great Tit nest nearby. In the hide we saw them flying back and forwards from the nest. After a look around we spotted two Great Crested Grebes dancing and performing to each other.
Finally some ducks flew in and one was a Wigeon. I thought to tell Mike straight away because it was strange that they were here this time of year. Wigeon would normally migrate in the summer to places such as Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia. I told Mike but he did not believe me. “There’s a Wigeon over there”, I kept telling Mike. “They have migrated“, he replied, finally he looked and realised that actually there was a Wigeon, that made him a bit embarrassed, but it also made him more aware of my knowledge.
When we got back it was time for the judging of the photo competition. After he looked around at the pictures he announced the winners.
I managed to get first and second prizes which was amazing and made me very happy.
My winning photo of a Turnstone on Southend Pier
We all had a good day with other events such as bug hunting, pond dipping, we also played some of the games and climbed a rock wall that they had there.
Couple of days later, we were at Minsmere walking round, whilst looking at a Great Spotted Woodpecker nest we bumped into Mike Dilger, Jason Singh and one of the Springwatch producers. We said hello and Mike retold the Wigeon story to the other people, after chatting to them all the Producer invited us to be in the audience of Springwatch UnSprung (episode 3 2016).
It was great as I managed to stand behind Chris Packham and Mike in the audience and had a really good view of them both. My mum said I was also very visible on the screen and she had told all my family to watch. It was interesting seeing different parts of the set and what they were doing and how it all ran behind the scenes. At the end of the show Mike introduced me to Chris Packham and I had my photo taken with them.
I also met Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games they all signed my little black nature book. Was a great end to a long day at Minsmere.