Friday, 26 July 2013

Ladies and gentleman, time please

As much as I enjoy the RSPB reserve at Rainham, I don't enjoy having to rush around the site late afternoon to get back to the visitors centre before the car park closes at 5pm, especially during the summer months, when we can take full advantage of our lighter evenings - I know some of the reserve is visible from the footpath along the seawall, but all the same it would be good to have access to the hides and the reserve a little later during the summer, if only once a week - I'd be happy for the monthly direct debit I pay for my RSPB membership to go towards paying overtime for someone to work a couple of extra hours a week to facilitate this request, or alternatively open the reserve from 11am - 7pm on Wednesdays during the summer - now there's a thought!

RSPB giving nature a home giving greater access

So, with one eye on the clock I had a mid-week dash around the reserve, walking through the woodland area a scruffy looking Chiffchaff was also enjoying the fine weather, fly catching the bounty of insects from a branch, and being late July this bird must have been feeding a second brood of youngsters - explaining its rather worn and shoddy appearance! But a good sign that maybe our breeding birds which have suffered with the appalling wet spring and summers of the last couple of years, might this year show small signs of recovery aided by the good weather - only time will tell.

On the marsh the two Spoonbills were still present on Aveley Pools, both assuming their usual position of heads tucked under wings asleep, and there were also three Greenshank having a bit of an afternoon doze! Several species of dragonfly followed my path along the wooden boardwalk and despite these being numerous in number I failed to see any hawking Hobbies taking advantage of this abundant food source, worryingly this is the second time in recent visits I failed to see this diminutive Falcon!

Dragonflies, Rainham, RSPB

Dragonflies, Rainham, RSPB

Completing my circular walk around the reserve five Whimbrel were doing there best to hide from view in the long grass at the back of the Purfleet scrape, whilst a Peregrine Falcon flew over spooking one or two residents of the marsh - an enjoyable dash round but I wonder what else I might have seen if I could have stayed on past closing time!


  1. The thing to do is park your car outside the reserve and hide at kicking out time...

    1. I like your style Nick, but parking the car outside the reserve is one of my concerns - you can't drive a car without its wheels!