... and it might end up being a bit similar to the 199th post, because I went to Rainham again today, with Shane, Clare and Dean. We had a lovely walk around, although the weather was not quite as dazzling as last time with a bit of grey murk around.
Shane and I arrived about an hour before Clare and Dean, so we had a wander to the woodland area, in search of Cuckoos. We met a volunteer en route, who pointed out where he had seen them just now, which was great, just not quite as great as it would have been if the Cuckoos were still there...
On the way to the woods we found this noisily singing Sedge Warbler, which showed very well for us but insisted on only doing its song flights when I was looking at something else. There were also plentiful Reed Warblers singing and refusing to show at all.
In the woods, there were several Blackcaps singing, and a Willow Warbler which was one of those intriguing 'mixed singers', its song phrases beginning with a couple of 'chiff-chaff' sounds before it switched to proper Willow Warbler descending-scale song.
We met Clare and Dean and headed out towards Purfleet hide. On the way, Dean spotted a very close Water Vole from the bridge, but I just couldn't get a clear view of any recognisable part of it. I did take a photo, which shows a random area of soggy brown fur.
I didn't stay long in the tower hide. I never seem to see anything much from there (um, apart from that one time that I found a Baillon's Crake...). Instead I sat down by the ditch that runs behind the hide to see if any Water Voles would be forthcoming.