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Saturday, 8 September 2012

Rainham BAILLON'S CRAKE refuses to play ball

The BAILLON'S CRAKE appeared from the grey and misty gloom this morning at dawn (0548 hours) and made its way from left to right along the back of the reedy pool in front of the Rifle Butts Hide. It then showed until 0620 hours, occasionally climbing up on to the reeds. I then watched it run off along a dyke behind a reedy island. At 0705, it was very briefly glimpsed in flight and that was it. I counted 84 lucky souls that connected in this relatively short span of time and as far as I know, it was not seen again all day. A resident Coot was taking a dislike to other birds visiting the pool.

Howard Vaughan, Ruth, Dave, Andy and other volunteers are to be commended for the superb management of the site that was put in place, and many owe a debt of gratitude for being allowed in to the reserve half an hour earlier than planned. As a result, access will run from 0500 hours on Sunday

Having to kill a lot of hours on site today, I was impressed by the number of WATER VOLES on the reserve - and often very easy to see; also the MARSH FROGS and WASP SPIDERS. Other avian highlights included Common Greenshank, numerous Hobbies, a juvenile Marsh Harrier, Corn Bunting and 20 flyover Yellow Wagtails