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Friday, 27 March 2009

Local Patch - RSPB Rainham Marshes

Taking a leaf out of Dave and Martin's book, I've decided to write a few posts focusing on my local patch, which is Hornchurch in Essex, and the surrounding area.

Bearing in mind my location, I am lucky enough to be surrounded by country parks and green belt - such as remains in the South East - and I am 10 minutes drive from RSPB Rainham Marshes.

The reserve is a strange place, which can appear quite barren at first glance but I have to say that I have had some pretty reasonable results there, although as has been mentioned, it can be hit and miss.

This year for instance, I have had Penduline and Bearded Tit within 15 feet on the reed mace. And although I've not been quick enough, Water Rail literally right at my feet under the broadwalks. In spring and summer I've had Cuckoo, Little Grebe and various Warblers within a few feet, plus Reed Bunting and posing Stonechat too.
Kingfisher are resident and Water Vole if it's quiet enough. On the seawall, there are also Dartford Warbler resident, although I've not tried to capture those yet. The feeders also attact quite a few species. When you first arrive, the site can appear daunting - basically, it's a 2 mile circular walk - but take your time and talk to the wardens before you go out - they will tell you the best spots. I've had my best results by just standing in a spot and waiting rather than marching round as a lot do and missing everything.

Check out the RSPB site for Rainham - there is a Warden called Howard Vaugh, and he keeps the latest sightings updated very well.
Drop me a message if you'd like to know more.

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