Saturday 28 November 2009

Serin and Yellow-legged gulls at Rainham

Went to Rainham last week and saw the serin briefly in poor light at the end of the day. Decided to go back today (Fri 27 Nov) to try and get a picture. It's a very small bird, smaller than a goldfinch, and very mobile. It was almost impossible to see it in the flock but it was possible to see it as soon as it landed and before it dropped down to the ground to feed.

When I got there it had been seen shortly before (always the way) but it was now nowhere to bee seen. Walked up and down the path for a while, settled on the grass to set my tripod up in readiness. Surely they would come through here soon??

Waited 35 mins - nothing, not even the main flock of goldfinches. I got up and wandered down the track to where another man with the same lens was also waiting. After a few minutes the unmistakable calls of goldfinches could be heard. Dominic Mitchell (as I learned he was) saw the serin straight away and did hid best to point out exactly where this tiny bird was, camouflaged in the bushes. Normally, I'm fairly quick at following where people are looking by following the line of their scope but, at that moment I couldn't. I was also desperately trying to extend the legs on my tripod and that didn't help!!

They flew again!! Nooo! They settled again. Dominic was firing off shot after shot while I fumbled and looked. They flew again to a bush directly in front of us. I got onto the serin and, before they all flew off again, managed a single, poorly focused shot . This is it:

Serin, Rainham Marshes.

Just had time to see a few Yellow-legged gulls (year tick) on the Thames before heading home.

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