A few splendid outings this month. The first was a trip to RSPB Rainham Marshes with Rob and Elaine. Rob is an old uni friend who likes to bird and he's even managed to persuade his wife Elaine to join in. Despite the cold and rainy conditions we had a good walk around the circuit and tallied nearly 50 species, of which Wigeon (2), Grey Wagtail, Green Sandpiper (2), Ruff and Water Rail were the highlights.
On the journey home I even managed to get Rob signed up to eBird and posting his first checklist, a very successful day.
The next trip was to RSPB Titchwell during the half-term break. I resolved to start early and was in the car-park by 6:20am. It was so dark I had to wait a little while before there was enough light to walk the path out. However while I waited, I listened to a couple of Tawny Owl 'kewicking' and hooting in the woodland trees, a site tick.
From the path I then watched many species wake from their roost, noticeably Black-Headed Gull (500+) which noisily left the scrape and headed out to the agricultural fields. There were also good numbers of shorebirds throughout, Golden Plover (215+), Black-Tailed Godwit (200+), Oystercatcher (70+), Avocet (30) and Red Knot (8).
With my time running out before I had to head home, I quickly walked the whole eastern section of the reserve up to the back of the main scrape, for the first time. I left wondering if the RSPB will create a path along the rest of the seawall to the beach, to make a loop possible, since there's probably only about 500m between the furthest part and the beach it seems to make sense if undue disturbance can be avoided.
Saturday 12th, Rainham Marshes RSPB Reserve, London, UK.
Sunday 20th, Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve, Norfolk, UK.