Saturday, 2 July 2011

For midsummer, read autumn

One of three returning Green Sandpipers in front of the Ken Barrett hide ...
... for some species, 'autumn' begins early.
A short (and overdue) visit to my patch at Rainham Marshes this morning produced the first signs of autumn, with three Green Sandpipers in what little suitable wader habitat remains on the reserve, two Black-tailed Godwits overhead and, most surprisingly, an early migrant Tree Pipit, calling as it flew over Purfleet 'scrape'.

Two Black-tailed Godwits circled the reserve before disappearing towards the Thames.
A good selection of seven species of warbler featured six of them in song, including two male Cetti's and a showy Lesser Whitethroat. A few other species of note included Peregrine Falcon, Sparrowhawk, Little Egret, single Northern Lapwing and Oystercatcher, and eight Common Terns fishing mid-Thames on the rising tide. Of 10 species of butterfly, Essex Skipper was the most notable.

Singing male Reed Warbler - one of many at Rainham today.

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