Sunday, 25 April 2010

Essex Birds

Wednesday was really one of those days that had a bit of a purpose to it. I'm not one for 'twitching', i don't go round chasing rare birds and trying to see them unless of course they are very close to where i live, but i certainly don't travel hours to see them. I can understand those that do it, but for me it's just not my thing. I do however travel away from home to places where birds are either in good numbers or are particulary photographable. Wednesday had an aim, to see and photograph Grasshopper Warblers....a bird i'd never seen before. We do have a few of these summer visitors around where i live but after seeing some pictures from Two Tree Island in Essex it just seemed like the "Groppers" here were just waiting to be photographed, an that's exactly what i did!

Whitethroat - the warm up act for the Groppers!

The Groppers themselves....saw 3 in total!

After some considerable time skulking around bushes i moved into the hide, almost as soon as i entered it i heard my first Cuckoo of the year, i quickly ran back out but couldn't locate anything cuckoo-ing, shame! Back in the hide and the Avocet and Oystercatchers were all over the place, tried to photograph some flight are the best of them!

After over 2 hours wandering Two Tree Island i felt it was time to leave, plenty of joggers and dog walkers had turned up by then making the birds alot more skittish and the groppers had since gone quiet, it just felt right to leave but where next?! I literally had no-where in mind! I actually stuck a location in Suffolk into my sat nav and was told it would take 2 hours to get this point i considered my options and thought that would be mental plus bad for the environment and my health so i sat still and thought where next, it was only 9.30am and i had the whole day ahead of me and such lovely weather! I decided on Rainham Marshes, a place i kept meaning to go to and more importantly less than 30 minutes away! So off i went!
First thing i first ever Water Vole! Amazing....

As i walked along the boardwalk i sensed that this place was going to be good, it just kept getting often to you walk past a Little Grebe with baby! It was just hanging out right next to the boardwalk! I froze on the spot as i saw it but it just sat there, loads of people must have walked past it and not even noticed! I took a couple of pictures then walked on so i didn't disturb it but to be honest it must be used to people as it literally sitting right next to the boardwalk!

Marsh Frogs were all over the place, a top amphibian!

The Wheatear were also posing nicely!

The other thing i noticed about this wonderful RSPB reserve is how tame the Reed Buntings are, many of the reedbeds are right next to and even overhang the boardwalk and the Buntings were loving the sun and loving just hanging on the reeds, this one was trying to catch can just make out the fly in the photo!

More Reed Bunting shots, complete with reeds!

The Cetti's warblers were alot more tricky to photograph, this is the best of a bad bunch!

I left Rainham Marshes full up on great wildlife moments and a delicious Ham and Cheese toastie at the cafe, its great when nature reserves have cafes! On the way home i popped into Rye Meads, another RSPB reserve just to see what was about....again i wasn't dissapointed, the sun continued to shine and the birds continued to pose!
Little Grebe

My first Sedge Warbler of the year

Gadwall...i really like these photos and the poses i caught


These buggers are awkward to photograph, Orange Tip Butterflies! Gorgeous and flappy!

The day ended with some common bird shots but one of my favourite birds....Long Tailed Tits, cute and playful and they always love the camera!

Great Day!


  1. Wow, what a bumper day of sightings and a great selection of pics. Ive never knowingly seen Grasshopper Warblers so they're a really good reference for me. Water Vole's are fantastic aren't they. Reed Buntings and Long Tail Tits are so obliging. Well done for getting a decent pic of the Orange Tip, I like the side profile pic showing the backlit underwing, I never manage to catch them at rest, Linda