'Gentlemen of Science' is the collective name for employees of Birdwatch magazine, past and present, and pre-me they were all indeed gentlemen. Yesterday I met up with two of the gents, Ian and Simon, for a birding morning at Rainham. We've been trying to organise this trip since late January, so it was a pleasure and a triumph to finally co-ordinate ourselves to do it. Ian met me at Woodford tube station and from there we drove to the reserve and, after a chat with Howard, went down to the start of the trail.
On to Butts hide, from where the gents picked out a very distant group of small waders on the shore of the Target Pools - three Dunlins and four Ringed Plovers.
At the Dragonfly pools, we heard a bit of pinging and a pair of Bearded Tits came chasing over the reeds, sadly not pausing long enough for any photos.
The Kingfishers nesting by the MDZ are due to fledge any day now. Unsurprisingly nothing happened during the two minutes we spent in the hide.