Wednesday 10 May 2017


"And a Black-winged Stilt must drop in one of these days surely?"

I wrote this yesterday, idly wondering what new species might propel my Rainham list to the magic 200. Today I popped over there after work and ticked it off. Yes, that's right, a day later, in fact less than 12 hours later, a pair of Black-winged Stilt dropped into the reserve and had the good grace to stay all day. What curious coincidence is this? Do I merely need to write the species I would like to see there and a day later one will appear?

An interesting theory, and I'd be delighted to see a Bee-eater, Hoopoe or, err, Green Heron, however my guess was not really a guess. Black-winged Stilts have been seen all over the place at various sites along the Thames Estuary over the last few years, but for some bizarre reason have never chosen to visit Rainham. I think there was a day bird back in 2010 but I was abroad and missed it, and there has not been one since. I figured it was only a matter of time until a repeat given the numbers in the country, and whilst I admit that the speed of arrival was incredible I can't say I'm that surprised.

They were about half a mile away, but the views were crisp in the early evening light. Excellent! I may have done a little jig, as I had had to find them by myself - none of this pitching up and asking for directions from a long line of green fleece. #193 in the bag, under the belt etc. I was soon joined by other members of the Employed Birders Club (there are not many of us) who had also presumably spent a day in agony hoping against hope that the birds would stay until they could get there. They need not have worried, Rainham is on fire at the moment - one of them I had seen only a few days ago whilst twitching the Quail.

All I can say is that hopefully we'll see each other again very soon!

Mostly very similar to the views I had.


  1. Absolutely fantastic photo - again.....!

    1. Thanks, I am a lover of clean backgrounds - and to be clear, I took this in Majorca a few years ago, not Rainham!