Saturday, 2 April 2011

Marsh Harrier & Little Ringed Plover

Nice mornings birding;

I set off to get to my regular haunt RSPB Ranham Marshes probably for 8.30am but didnt actually arrive until 9am; mainly due to seeing a Green Woodpecker about 100 yards down the road, nothing unusual there; we have them in our garden on a regular basis feeding off the ants around the BBQ area at the back or face down in the grass. Now for me this was a first, it was climbing the trunk of the old oak. As i hadnt seen this behaviour and there was no body around to make it fly, i watched it for about 10-15 minutes.

Rainham was busy for 9am, must have been the warm bright sunny morning and it got off to a flyer with a Cettis Warbler just after leaving the entrance ramp. Again i heard the song and then located the bird. Standing in the same spot but viewing a different location a Chiffchaf.

By the time i had left the Woodland Area i had ticked off: Blue Tit; Great Tit, Cettis Warbler, Chiffchaf, Reed Bunting, Two amazing Black Caps showing really well and a Coot & Morhen in one of the Woodland ditches.

On the Target Pools no sign of any Little Gulls today but plenty of Black Headed Gulls, Common & Herring with a few Lesser Black Backed (another guy called a 2nd winter Yellow Legged and although i saw it, wasnt to sure).

Definately two types of Lesser Black Backed on show today both the graellsii & just one of the darker intermedius. The differences were picked out on adult birds.

The Peregrines were sitting in their usual pylon not up to much however a Marsh Harrier was in view, out of view, for easily and hour and some great viewing was to be had. Black Fingers and Hand were easliy identifiable.

Over on the Butts Hide Water side the two Little Ringed Plovers were for all to see with the naked eye and again were there the whole time the marsh Harrier was on diplay from the other side of the hide.

I noted a slight bobbing action from these two however dont know if thats common with LRP's.

Further round 3 water voles happily cleaned up

Other birds: lapwing; great crested grebe; little grebe; grey heron; starling; blackbird; magpie; cormorant; teal; wigeon; wood pigeon; shoveller; carrion crow; tufted duck; mute swan; mallard; pochard; skylark; canada goose; greylag goose; a group of 8 magestic little egrets & gadwall
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