The Dark Room

Sunday 27 September 2020

Common Cranes at Rainham Marshes

After Saturday's poor sea watch off  Margate with PH and only 4 Bonxie and 3 Artic Skua and 2 Snipe being the highlight of a long day, I was keen to go out Sunday morning and make the most of not ringing due to high winds all weekend.

I started off with a river watch at Rainham Marshes RSPB but singles of Dunlin and Black tailed Godwit was not what I was after. A juvenile Wheatear and a Stonechat were feeding along the rocks near Aveley bay car park was a nice distraction. With the river being quiet I had a look on the local Whatsapp group. Jono and some of the boys at Wanstead flats amazingly  picked up 2 Common Cranes  going east that were seen minutes before at Tytenhanger GPs.

So I jumped into my car and drove to Ferry lane as your a bit nearer the river. I thought - as the Cranes went east from Wanstead they may follow the river?- I know I got very lucky!

Both went over my head at height and carried on going east over the reserve. And to be honest the speed I got my camera out of the bag was record breaking :)


Nice to get the dust of the camera again, I think this is the only Wheatear to be on my blog all year.


Tuesday 15 September 2020

Processed birds

 The past two weekends I've ringed on both days with Paul H but on the 5th we were joined by PRO and Sunitha and on 6th Dave Mo joined us.

5th September - 82 birds processed

6th September - 69 birds processed

12th September - 38 birds processed

13th Sepember - 30 birds processed

The 5th and 6th saw a good passage of Willow Warblers and Greenfinch with 32 ringed on the 6th. The star birds were on that weekend was a 1cy Spotted Flycatcher and a 2cy male Kestrel -both were first for the site.

The 12th and 13th saw us ring the first Meadow Pipits of the Autumn and a Yellow Wagtail - first for the site on the 12th. And again good numbers of  Greenfinch. 

Birds seen around the catching area 2 Whinchat, 2 Spot fly, Hawfinch over, Marsh Harrier, Hobby, Barn Owl and Redstart are all note worthy.


Spot Fly




1cy Meadow Pipit

Wednesday 2 September 2020

Another Tree Pipit

31st August with PH produced 73 birds


29 & 1 rt Blackcap

5 & 1rt Dunnock

1 Tree Pipit

8 Chiffchaff

2 Wren

2 Greenfinch

1 Common Whitethroat

1 Lesser Whitthroat

3 Reed Warbler

2 & 2 rt Blue Tit

1 Goldfinch

3 &2 rt Great Tit

1 Robin

1 Woodpigeon

1 Blackbird

2 &2 rt Long tailed Tit

A mixed bag of birds but another good morning.

Tree Pipit code 3 (juv)

Lesser Whitethroat code 4 (adult)