Thursday 18 March 2010

Spring has Sprung.

No, not a Wheatear, though every birding site in London bar the ones I have been at has had them. Two Little Ringed Plovers on the MDZ scrape at Rainham this morning. I didn't have any lofty aims or ambitions today. The girls and I were simply going to go for a nice walk. Rainham is ideal - a circular walk, birds, friendly people, a visitor centre, a playground, birds, cake. So this is what we did. The girls kept count of the Reed Buntings for me, I counted the Little Ringed Plovers. We helped a man with Marsh Frogs, and the girls played with broken reed stems, which they used as brooms to sweep the path. The next time you go round, and think to yourself, "Wow, what a tidy reserve, the path all but sparkles!", this is why. I had a quick scan of the Target Pools for Gulls, but bar 17 first-winter Caspian Gulls and a single adult Herring Gull, there was nothing of interest. News of an Avocet visible from the Centre had us quicken our pace, but there was no hurry, and the bird stayed for several hours on the opposite foreshore - my 148th species in London this year. I predict Wheatear and Sand Martin will be the ones to take me to 150, though I wouldn't complain if they were a Stone Curlew and a Raven. Osprey would be fine too.

I took the rather more portable 400mm lense round today, and had a bit of a play. I do like it rather a lot. Much as the other one rocks, this is my ideal birding lense on a nice day. Seeing as there is nothing much else to say, I'll just post a few photos instead.

And last but not least, I can't not share this. Howard somehow managed to colour-coordinate with a Poodle. Having said that, we never saw them at the same time.....


  1. I've been thinking of using my giant multi-million pound bankers bonus (hah!) to invest in a decent 400mm lens. Are they as cool as everyone says?

  2. I think so. I could rabbit on for hours on the virtues of the Canon EF 400mm f5.6 lense, whilst others rave about the 100-400 image-stablised zoom. No matter which one you get, get a second-hand one and save a packet.