Friday, 22 March 2013

First Wheatear of 2013 at Rainham

I took a short detour today to visit the male Black Redstart at Rainham and quickly found it in the usual spot at the end of the sea wall in Ferry Lane. Lot's of Brown Rat about too but a very welcome surprise arrived in the form of a male Northern Wheatear (186) which took company with the BRS and the rats as it moved from rock to rock along the foreshore. This is my first for 2013 as they have only started to arrive in the last few days. How must this guy feel to have left his warm wintering grounds to find that on arrival in Blighty it's freezing and threatening to snow.
Northern Wheatear

I watched the birds with Dave "the beard"  until the biting cold wind took his hat and dumped it below the sea wall, luckily he was well prepared having a spare in the car, I'm sure I'll remember him as Dave the hat going forward but hopefully I'll bump into him around Essex again soon.

A quick look across the marsh for Owls was fruitless but a Marsh Harrier did make an attempt to fly in the ridiculous breeze. On arrival home I found that the male Blackcap that's wintered in my garden has been joined by another male which pleased me. The local weather forecast is poor again for the weekend but here's hoping I manage to get out.

Black Redstart

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