Saturday, 1 December 2012

Pink punks and casps at Rainham

What a difference a week makes, and it wasn't just the weather! The low cloud and dreary conditions that hung around last weekend had gone, and the lack of birds had disappeared too. This was the first cold(ish) weather movement of the winter. I headed to Rainham with Josh in the hope that we'd see a few bits, while giving my coat a decent airing to get rid of the rather pungent smell that clung to it from the curry house last night.
Adult Caspian Gull Rainham 1st December 2012
The morning session was in fact pretty productive. Not huge numbers of gulls on the tip, but enough to keep us busy despite the main tipping activity going on out of sight. Kev and Mick were about, like last Saturday, and it wasn't long before the first Caspian Gull of the day showed up - a nice adult-type bird. Just look below though at how the jizz of this bird changes in a couple of shots, just seconds apart. Photos never lie apparently...
Caspian Gull (same bird as above) - nice pale tongue to underside of P10 visible on this pale-eyed individual 

Look how just a couple of shots later the whole head profile of the bird changes, with the bird now exhibiting a pixel thin eye and rounder head.
Two other Casps - a first-winter and a third-winter - were also seen on the tip during the morning which were both rather distant, while a vocal Waxwing decided to fly in a couple of times, pose for us before heading off north over the tip mid morning. A nice bonus...

If anyone's visiting this site, be aware that directions always come out as 'by the stone barges'. This isn't the case - walk east 500 metres or so from the car park, along the Thames path, where you'll see the tip on the left. Look from here (at the tip as well as birds on the foreshore). 

All of my good mood from the morning's birding was taken away after a two hour journey back home - yeah, it is only a few miles too.

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