Just had to mention the Kingfisher that made my wife's day today during our visit, we had driven up from the Surrey/Sussex border for a walk around with the hope of spotting the Kingfisher looking for nest holes at the Discovery Zone. On the way up it had been raining and at one stage we were considering giving it a miss and turning around but we were both glad we stuck with our plan. On arrival Brenda told us that the hide near the possible nest site would not open until 11am so we decided to go around anti-clockwise to arrive at the hide at said time.
From the Woodland/Cordite area onwards the place was alive with bird song along with plenty to see including numerous Blackcaps and a lovely Willow Warbler who had no intention of letting me get a photo. We heard the first Cetti's Warbler as we approached the feeder area and heard a further 4 by time we had reached Wellington Marshes that is the most I have ever heard in any of my visits. Also present on sound but not in site were Reed Warblers right around the reserve all the bird song made it feel like winter was over at last even if the wind was still a little chilly.
We arrived at the Discovery Zone just as one of the reserves members of staff was opening it and he asked if we had heard about the Kingfishers and we said yes it was one of the reasons for the visit today. He went on to explain there had been a male checking out the holes in the bank and had been witnessed burrowing them out so we were hopeful of seeing them. My wife has only ever seen Kingfishers from a distance and usually flying away from us, so she was quite excited at the possibility of seeing one close by. As we waited I could my throat getting dryer after being out in the breeze and I had to do a stifled cough, just as i finished coughing in flew a Kingfisher and it landed on the Metal Dragonfly ar a twig going through it right in front of a couple of burrows. I pointed it out to my wife and the RSPB gentleman and then alas it flew off after all to a short stay, we stayed in the hide for a while longer and along with others were treated to some Yellow Wagtails, several Little Egret, 3 Redshank 2 of whom got down to ensuring they would be the pitter patter of little Redshank to come, Lapwings and 3 Dunlin in summer plumage.
Here's hoping the Kingfishers decide to nest in the bank and if so well done all the staff at the reserve in everything they have done to give the birds a chance of nesting with absolute minimal chance of disturbance from onlookers.
Shane & Karen
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Hi Shane & Karen,
Were you the couple who came into the Butts Hide and told me about the Cetti's you had heard? (I was spotting lapwing nests)?
Glad you saw the kingfisher, as I did later, and a water vole. Always look out for kingfisher on the access road as they commute between the Mardyke and the reserve.
Bob (Rainham Volunteer).
In reply to BobF:
How lovely, sounds like you had a great visit :)
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In reply to doggie:
Sounds wonderful! I might try to get down there next week....
Hi Bob and yes were that couple lol, after leaving you we were given a nice aerobatic display by a couple of Lapwings. The RSPB guy in the hide at the same time us mentioned the Mardyke where about is it and is there public access to it?
Thanks in advance.
In reply to aiki:
Thanks aiki, it was nice to be out with the misses along with plenty to hear if not always see.
Cheers Alan, Iam now hoping to get some good photos it was too quick for me today and the Cetti's their normal elusive selves.
In reply to GrahamC:
Hi Graham, if you decide to go let me know hopefully I can join you along with aiki if she's free.
In reply to Shane:
As you come in on the access road the Mardyke is on your left behind the bushes. On the left where the road opens out and turns left there is a foot bridge over the river.
Thanks Bob I often go there but not being local to Rainham didn't know it's name.
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