|A flock of Bar-tailed Godwits reorients eastwards along the Thames at Rainham.|
With the vast majority of birds heading straight up the Channel and the North Sea, it takes a favourable wind, poor visibility and preferably rain for London to derive benefit from such movements. The first two factors came into play today, which meant I recorded a personal best of 44 Barwits at Rainham this morning. Always great to see these birds in spring, when they vary in plumage from washed-out greyish-brown to the deepest brick-red of just about any shorebird.
|This Hobby was presumably new in on the tip, and was later joined by several others.|
|Three of a kind: this adult male Northern Wheatear ...|
|... and presumed first-summer male (note incomplete mask and slightly browner wings) ...|
|... kept company with this female along the sea wall at Aveley Bay.|
|Far less showy was this Grasshopper Warbler, which never fully emerged from cover.|
I checked the barges car park in case more godwits were roosting over the high tide, but instead came away with two third-calendar-year Yellow-legged Gulls.
|One of two second-summer Yellow-legged Gulls in the barges area. No adults for more than a month now.|
As I drove away from the site, past the new marshland landscaping along Coldharbour Lane, I noticed a small bird distantly at the edge of a pool. A quick check revealed it to be my first White Wagtail of the year, albeit one missing half of its tail.
|This White Wagtail (a first-year male?) looked pretty dapper, the lack of a full tail excepted.|