Thursday, 21 July 2016

Rainham Marshes !

The weather forecasters predicted some fine sunny weather for my visit to the marshes at Rainham, they were not wrong, there was some serious sunshine that brought out the Butterflies, but strangely, where were the Dragonflies, sightings were few and far between for me.

No rarities in my sightings today, or any day just lately,  I was hoping that I may catch a glimpse of an Essex Skipper, but they are so difficult to distinguish between  the very similar looking Small Skipper, I am not convinced that the only candidate I did see was a Skipper of the Essex persuasion.

The Reed beds still held plenty of Reed Warblers, mostly heard, rather than seen, in fact not to many birds seen today, I spent some time trying to photograph a Grey Heron that was hunting in front of the hide,  a Little Egret stayed just out of camera range.

I was after an image of the Heron actually catching a fish, but the Herons strikes are lightning fast, and I missed most of them, this was the closest I managed.

A Cetti's Warbler burst into song close by, the hoped for view of the bird was not the Warbler, just a Linnit but a nice view all the same. The usual Reed Bunting still singing from the reed tops, a few Blackcap chasing around the woodland bordering the marsh.
Reed Bunting
Only two species of Odonata seen today, a single Blue tailed Damselfly and a few sightings of Ruddy Darters both female. ( Can't see any yellowish stripes down the legs)

Ruddy Darter female
Blue tailed Damselfly

Not sure what species of wild flower this is, some type of Vetch I imagine , but certainly a magnet for the Bees.

Lots of Common Lizard sightings along the boardwalks as they took advantage of the warm sunshine. The Lizard photographed below was probably a pregnant female seemed excessively large.

Common Lizard

The main focus of the day  seemed to revolve around Butterfly sightings, the long grass and this clump of Chicory seemed  very attractive to the Skippers, mainly Small Skippers with just one a possible Essex Skipper.

Chicory and Plantain

Just a glimpse of a Labyrinth spider lurking in its web. no Wasp spiders seen yet

Some of the Butterflies seen today are shown below, nothing spectacular or rare, but you have to admire the beauty of these lovely creatures which are all too easily taken for granted until their absence has been realised.

Red Admiral

Small Tortoiseshell

Green Veined White

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