Friday, 23 January 2015

I tell ya, we're gonna see a Water Rail!

For the last few years, my partner and I have had a different bird that we have wanted to see each year. Its a, 'I want to see [insert bird] this year!' and for 2015, it was the Water Rail. We spent plenty of time last year hoping to see it, hearing 'Water Rails here!' several times and never being lucky enough to see one. So this year I said to him 'This year we're gonna see a Water Rail!'

So on the 7th of January, our first birding trip out of the new year, we grabbed our gear and ambled over to Essex to our favourite RSPB reserve, Rainham Marshes. Its a great place to bird, I saw many of my firsts here. And bonus it has a loo! We set out for our walk around with no real high hopes of seeing anything, it was freezing cold and windy. We headed round to this little section where they have bird feeders to have a see what was about, expecting to see the usual. Which we did, including two rats having a munch.
We weren't standing there long, when I started smacking my partner (his names Mike by the way) and pointing in to the flattened reeds.
'What?! Its a Moorhen you dope' he says, but oh no, no. I know I get confused at times, and quite often call Moorhens, Coots, and Coots, Moorhens (I can tell them apart, my mouth just moves to fast for my brain!) but this was not Moorhen. A few seconds pass and then Mike realises that what we are looking at is in fact our Water Rail! We both stand in awe for a few moments with silly grins on our faces! We have finally seen our elusive Water Rail and it hadn't even noticed we were there!

I only managed to get a shot of its behind! 

So looks like our 2015 bird is ticked off already! What now!?!

More shots from the day.


Female Reed Bunting

Great Tit

Brown Rat

Male Reed Bunting

Blue Tit

Male Stonechat 


  1. Congratulations Jeni & Mike on seeing your first Water Rail.
    Having seen one so early in the year, are you going to try to see another new bird for 2015?

    1. Thank you Jim! There are so many birds we want to see, top of our list I think would be the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Turtle Dove, Hawfinch, Firecrest. I think our list is pretty much endless! Thanks for commenting! :)