Took the entire flock of Dippers to Rainham Marsh (part of the RSPB corp network of family entertainment venues) en route to a shopping trip at Canary Wharf. Once we’d found it (its signposted “Purfleet heritage Centre” of the A?? off the A13) it struck me as Elmley-lite. Nevertheless we were soon admiring the excellent variety on the board. Paninis, toasted sandwiches, baked potatoes, various puddings and a range of coffees; just the kind of sightings to make this a regular item on the Dippers’ Sunday itinerary.
We got as far as the hide on Alverley Marshes and saw lots of distant Wigeon, Blackwits, Gadwall, and Lapwings, and round the “Cordite area” had Stonechat, GSW, and Kingfisher. Proper birders had more, and their sightings are all here (http://www.elbf.co.uk/birdsightings.htm)
Meanwhile yesterday grabbed a break between the pre-Christmas round of school fetes, shopping other weekend rubbish and had a peaceful couple of hours late afternoon at Sawbo Marsh, largely undisturbed by birds (apart from 2 Mipits, GSW, a few Bullfinches). Local birder Mike – far more experienced and knowledgeable than myself turned up, and we watched a few Reed Bunts,1 Yellowhammers, Redwings, c500 Jackdaw, Grey Wagtail and Heron heading to their various roosts