Friday, 3 June 2016

Mixed bag from Rainham RSPB !

A trip to Rainham is always quite appealing to me, short on travelling time, pleasant surroundings, and the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife.

Apart from the nightmare traffic situation that has plagued the Dartford tunnel and approach roads, making a trip to Rainham RSPB a bit hit and miss just lately.

Several abortive trips have found me turning around and avoiding the area completely. but the lure of Rainham keeps drawing me back. so with the sun shinning, a good traffic report showing the tunnel clear of problems, I tried again, third time lucky, I was through the nightmare, and a few minutes later I was on the marshes enjoying the reserve.

A few weeks on from my last visit has found a change around along the dyke reedbeds where Sedge warblers were very obvious with just a few Reed Warblers calling. This visit found just one Sedge Warbler and many Reed Warblers chasing around the Reeds. Cetti's Warblers were still very vocal but none seen on this trip, a single Bearded Tit was seen flying over the Dragonfly pools

Reed Warbler

Lots of birds to be seen out on the pools and scrapes , a bit to distant for my camera, I did manage to get close to a Redshank family in front of one of the hides giving a nice photo opportunity.

A few other common birds presented themselves for a photograph,Grey Heron, Little Egret.
A Coot dispute is high on my list of sought after photographs, It always seems to be a snatched shot when I here the splash of there feet as they clatter across the surface of the water, always out of focus.

Coot dispute
Grey Heron fly-by
Little Egret
This female Pochard splashed down  close by in one of the dykes, seemed oblivious to my prescence, as she swam up the dyke towards me , she appeared to be looking for an area where her nest was probably hidden in the reeds

female Pochard

In the woodlands a Jay flew out in front of me and landed close by , closely followed by a very agitated Wren.


A few Blackcaps could be heard singing in the cordite area, with just one female showing briefly. with a nest of young hidden close by.

female Blackcap
The hoped for Hobbies did not materialise, the Kingfisher  did not show while I was in the hide, although it probably turned up as I left the hide.

Some interesting Bees around the reserve, good numbers of White Tailed Bumblebees and Carder Bees especially around the woodland areas

White Tailed Bumblebee  &  Carder Bee
I came across this unusual wasp like Bee below, probably half the size of a honey Bee, resting on some nettles in the woodland, I haven't seen many of these, although once again described as common.

 possible  Flavous Nomad Bee,

 I recognised  it as a type of Nomad Bee, a species of Cuckoo Bees, but which one, apparently there are about twenty eight species of Nomad Bee, all looking pretty similar, each species preys on a different host of Mining Bee or Adrena species, they lay their eggs in the nests of their chosen host, leaving the grubs to feed on the food larders accumulated in the nest.The adults feed on nectar and pollen. This one looks like a Flavous Nomad Bee, but I could be wrong.

Another colony of Mining bees was apparent on one of the set aside areas for Bees near the dragonfly pools, and another difficult one for me to identify, my new Bee reference book  does not seem to be much help as some of the Bees are very similar in appearance, so this is going down as another one of those unidentified types of mining Bee.
The unusual aspect of this Bee was that it did appear to be colonial, a number of Bees were using the same entrance hole to the colony nest, probably having their own  entrance burrows within this large entrance hole. They were quite small looking bees. any id help appreciated.

Another hoped for target today was Dragonflies and damsels, and a few were seen two Hairy Hawkers seen flying along the dykes, but not coming within range of the camera. 
Damselflys were a bit more accommodating with good numbers of Azure Damselfly and a few Blue Tailed Damselflies seen resting up in the long grass adjacent to the woodland track.

Blue Tailed Damselfly

Azure Damselfly
Azure Damselfly
No Large Red Damselflies seen which was disappointing. as was Butterfly sightings, A single Brimstone and a Green Veined white being the only species on view for me, I was hoping for a sighting of the Green Hairstreak thats has been reported lately, a species that has completely eluded me.
A few insect sightings made up for there absence though. lots of the unusual looking Scorpion flies resting on the grasses.

Panorpa communis  Scorpion Fly

Red Headed Cardinal Beetle

Nursery Web Spider 
'Drinker moth Caterpiller'
Marsh frogs were very vocal all around the reserve.

Marsh Frog

As you can see a mixed bag of wildlife sightings, none of my target species seen today, Large Red Damselfly, Green Hairstreak, Cuckoo, but still a very enjoyable visit once again.

1 comment:

  1. Great shots, targets or not. The redshank looks very conversational.