Monday, 17 September 2012


15th SEPTEMBER 2012.

Here we go again! As the Baillons Crake was still showing daily through out the week we decided to go for it again on Saturday, only the three of us as Bearded ,AKA Malteaser Head (Bart) couldn't make it. So another early start was arranged and we set off at 2.30am.

We arrived at Rainham RSPB reserve at 05.15 and was greeted by Howard the site manager who wished us luck AGAIN! It was still dark as we entered the hide so we took our place on the right hand side of the hide, set up our scopes and waited for the sun to rise.

The time was now about 06.30 and the light was good and the hide was full, then a shout from the left "It's there, in the reeds infront of the red generator !" We got our scopes on the area and there it was showing well, walking on the edge of the reeds - GET IN! It showed for about 3 minutes until a coot flushed it whereupon it flew towards us but out of view.Good views so - SEEN IT BANG !

About 40 mins passed and there was another shout - It was right in front of the hide on the edge of the reeds! We thought the views before were good , but now the bird was out in the open at times showing us all the ID features! It showed for another 2 mins then went out of view into the reeds.

We stayed in the hide for another half an hour and decided to head back to the car and go for breakfast, we took the long way back, walking around the reserve, not a great deal about , Little Egret, Snipe, 3 Jays, and the usual wildfowl.

                                                        View from hide at Rainham.
We also had some Migrant Hawkers and two Red Admiral Butterfies which were great to see basking in the sun.

                                                                    Migrant Hawker

Back in the car we left to get some breakfast at the local Tesco and while we were tucking into a full English the news of a Pec Sand came up on the pager at Dungerness RSPB reserve, so as Milky Bar Clam (Tom) needed it , we drank up our coffee's and headed down to Dunge.

We arrived at Dunge RSPB at 11.30 , parked up and paid up £3 to the RSPB lady (she had a beard) and we made our way down to the hide, as we got in a birder was onto the bird already.
We got our scopes onto it, the bird was feeding on the edge of a small island in the middle of the lake, it was quite distant and the heat haze was quite bad but we could ID the bird.

Then after about half hour the bird took flight and landed right infront of the hide! Great views were had as we watched the bird feeding infront of us for about half an hour.

                                                             Juv Pectorial Sandpiper.

Where next ? We decided to head down to the sea front and see what passes by. As we were driving down towards the sea, the pager went off - Little Bittern at Seven Oaks, seen in filght at 13.30, so as it was on our way home ( well it was north) we decided to go and have a look.

We arrived at Seven Oaks Wildfoul Park at 14.30, a nice place, woodland surrounding two large lakes, we checked the log book and there was no further sign of the Bittern.

We walked to the hide from where the bird was last seen , entering the hide, it was empty! So we started scanning across the small lake, Mute Swans, Coot, Moorhen, 1 Green Sandpiper, and a quick glimpse of a Kingfisher, no sign of the Bittern!

Time was getting on so we packed up and headed back home.

                                    The Thinker ( Captain Clam ,AKA The Biking Birder
Keep on Clamming !!

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