Species 3122 - A trip to Rainham

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday 20 February 2011 21:22

You can probably tell from my expression that it wasn't a Slaty-backed Gull! We were a little late getting galvanised today and literally missed the bird by minutes after sauntering onto the scene at a leisurely 2.45 pm (I wasn't hung over, I was working earlier in the day). Serves us right for leaving it so late. It was such a miserable day that the bird probably went to roost early, it seemed as dark at 3.00 pm as it was at 5.00 pm. Everything was flushed ten minutes before we arrived apparently and the bird was seen to fly out of view. Twitching sucks! Thanks to Oli for driving all the way there and back. We did see some Avocets and a huge flock of Lapwings that was put up by a Peregrine.

All was not lost however. We poked around in some drift wood by the banks of the Thames for a few minutes and I looked under the sum total of three logs. Under the second one I found a new species for me and it seems like it was quite a good one! I recognised it as one of the squash bugs that I had not seen before and thought I could probably ID it from a photo alone.
It's Ceraleptus lividus and is a local to scarce southern species that likes dry places according to 'A Photographic Guide to the Shieldbugs and Squashbugs of the British Isles' and was easy to identify. So, who needs a Slaty-backed Gull? Erm, well, me for one but I have learned two things today:
1) Don't leave the house at 1.30 pm to go twitching on a dark gloomy day in winter.
2) I prefer going out looking for invertebrates than I do birding these days.
So, will I go back for another shot at the bird? Almost certainly, I really wanna see the ugly brute and I do have a thing for gulls...

3 Response to "Species 3122 - A trip to Rainham"

Mr Frank L. Fettle Says:

Thanks for the reply Graeme, fair enough, I check what they are up to without following them as this does appear (imho) to give them unnecessary support and credence to their organisation, with such big names as RSPB following them too they then appear to people to be a benevolent trust. Thanks again, and look forward to reading more of your blog.

Graeme Lyons Says:

Hi Kate
I took down the first two comments as I don't want my blog to get into any heated debates if I can avoid it. After I replied though I thought about the relative benefits of many credible specialists following in such a situation and I decided to unfollow. Logic decided it for me though. To this point I had not seen a single one of their posts so I was not really reaping the benefits of my plan!
All the best

Mr Frank L. Fettle Says:

Please, I completely understand about the heated debates but as I had no other way of getting in touch this was my only medium! They do appear to be following a lot of people themselves that are connected in one way or another to anti-hunt, so I think they are just keeping tabs on us hence you not seeing their posts (not that I'm paranoid... ha!) Thanks for taking the time read and answer, and please if you want to take these comments down too I fully appreciate it. I'll be back to comment on the beautiful images you put up, rather than a rant about SS soon!

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