RSPB Rainham Marshes
Winter lingerers stayed on with the five Barnacle Geese all month and the immature Spoonbill stayed till the 20th when two new in adults lured it away to pastures new. A Bittern was seen on the 18th which was a surprise and a single Brent Goose on the 8th and 10th was the first for a while. There was some evidence of early passage with Med Gulls starting to reappear and four new Caspian Gulls hinted at birds moving through.
Spoonbill - Mark Laffling
The expected Scoter were seen with two on the 29th and four on the 30th but the river was otherwise quiet. The last Firecrest was noted on the 12th and the first proper migrant (sorry Chiffchaff and Blackcap) was a Sand Martin on the 5th but we had to wait until the 29th for the next one. A fine male Ring Ouzel was all too brief on the 29th and two Swallows flashed through on the 23rd with a nice early Sedge Warbler the next day. Lapwing, Redshank, Avocet and Oystercatcher were settling in and a pair of Little Ringed Plovers arrived from the 27th with passage Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper and Ruff noted too. The Marsh Harriers have been spectacular and a couple of Red Kites have added sky interest.
Avocet - Mark Laffling