A day with no rain in the forecast so I decided to head over to RSPB Rainham Marshes. The pools held a good selection of the usual waders with Ruff, Green and Common Sandpipers, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwits and Little Ringed Plovers. There was a juvenile Marsh Harrier patrolling over the marsh and four Hobbies. Four Whinchats dotted along the fence of one of the fields were a sign that autumn migration is well under way. An adult and a juvenile Water Vole were feeding in a couple of the ditches.
After lunch the idea of a bit of skywatching seemed appealing and turned up another Marsh Harrier with Hobbies feeding on dragonflies. Then at about 3 o'clock I decided to check what I thought at first was a juvenile gull flying towards me from the centre of the reserve only to realise that it was an Arctic Skua which flew over my head, past the visitor centre and out to the river. I and another birder made our way through to the river wall to try to relocate it only to see a ringtail Montagu's Harrier drifting along the south side in company with two Marsh Harriers. A short time after that Arctic Terns started drifting upriver, there were ten in all and then someone picked up a Spoonbill also flying upriver on the south side. The Arctic Terns kept going through until about 4 o'clock when it all went quiet again. Quite a good afternoon!