Had a quick family visit to Rainham Marshes this morning and it was an enjoyable couple of hours.
I didn’t have the time to put my usual effort in, but had some good sightings that are worth posting about.
I started off saying hello to Howard who was set up on the sea wall and he pointed out a flock of bearded tits flying around so we headed in to the reserve to see if I could find them. They seemed to be working along the ditch so I stopped ahead of them at the bus stop bird screen. I got out my camera and was deciding if I needed the teleconverter when 4 birds flew in and this male posed on a reed stem.
Further round I reach the part of the reserve where a black tern has been hanging around. The light was a bit rubbish and the bird was fast and agile, ducking and diving, making it hard to track. I only had 5 or some minutes before the family would get bored so I got what I could.
I struggled to start with trying to track such an unpredictably manoeuvring bird at 840mm equivalent focal length, but I switched the autofocus to a larger number of focus points and it tracked it well, at least when I could keep up with it!
As we carried on round, the weather brightened a little, but my hopes of photographing a marsh frog or two were dashed when my favourite spot was fenced of and a diversion in place. Turns out the boardwalk is beyond repair and wont be reopening. Luckily I recently found a second spot, where I got this.
As we came up to the Purfleet hide a hobby started flying close and hunting around the reedbeds and seawall. Frustratingly it stayed almost the entire time between me and the sun, but I did manage one good shot.
The walk finished with a nice lunch in the cafe, after a nice morning with some good sightings