Thursday, 9 April 2009

Rainham - a dangerous place for the unwary birder

I only just made it out alive, you know....

....well, perhaps I exaggerate ever-so slightly. But anyway, a very pleasant amble round Rainham this afternoon became a brisk march towards the end, due to the intervention of one very angry Cygnus olor. I'd been taking some (fairly poor) photos of a very docile pair of Mute Swans preening by the path, when a nearby male from another pair took offence and leaped out of the ditch towards us. First it chased the original male about 30 yards down the path, wings spread, hissing away, and then it turned to consider the puny looking bloke with a camera.... As it started to pace my way, I decided it was time to leave, with discretion being the better part of valour and all that!

A new entry on the reserve's Health and Safety Risk Assessment?!

I moved on to photographing safer subjects - I quite like this one:

Anyway, aside from that, it was a worthwhile wander, featuring a few more spring migrants: a couple of Sedge Warblers were some way off full song, but giving it a go now and then, and a male Yellow Wag was very handsome. Better still, though, a group of 4 Whimbrel flew over me, calling as they headed south over the river - it strikes me as very early for these to be on passage, but there's no doubt about it. I also relocated the latest in the recent sequence of Rainham Iceland Gulls, this one a very bleached 1st winter, I believe. (As with any of the photos, click to enlarge, though this is still not prize-winning stuff...)

I'm an Iceland Gull, honest...

And finally, also on the subject of bad photos, I'll leave you with the first of what could become a regular series... Name the Mystery Rodent!

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