Compiled by Howard Vaughan
RSPB Rainham Marshes
A typically quiet July with a few waders beginning to trickle through including Whimbrel, Green and Common Sandpipers, Black-tailed Godwits, Greenshank, Dunlin and Snipe. A Sanderling (13th) was unusual for July. Yellow-legged Gulls peaked at 45 on the 23rd and Dante Shepherd found our first ever juvenile Caspian Gull (31st) while Med Gulls were seen fairly regularly. Little Egrets had reached 33 by the last day of the month and the two families of Marsh Harriers were still being seen. A Turtle Dove fly through on the 12th was the first this year and early Redstarts were seen on the 30th and 31st.
Metropolitan Essex (LHNS area)
The 3rd saw three Red Kite sightings and four were made during the month of this increasing species. Waders were reported moving through traditional sites with up to 19 Black-tailed Godwits in the Ingrebourne Valley along with Little Ringed Plovers and up to 11 Green Sandpipers. The KGV Reservoir was similarly good with a high of 25 Common Sandpipers on the 30th and a smattering of other species. The Goldeneye was still present along with a Common Scoter (18th), 1100 Tufted Duck (19th) and 42 Little Egrets and a Garganey (30th). Gallions Reach also had good numbers of Common Sandpipers with 20 on the 24th along with 24 Black-tailed Godwits and even Wanstead Flats got in on the act with Common Sands on the 27th and 31st. A pair of Red-crested Pochards was seen at Walthamstow Reservoir on the 10th and a Great Egret flew over Beam Parklands (a thoroughly overlooked site) on the 8th. A Grasshopper Warbler was reeling (and seen!) in a Dagenham garden on the 25th. However, star bird of the month was the singing male Common Rosefinch that Jamie Partridge found on Walthamstow Marsh on the 3rd. It was seen daily up until the 12th and then again on the 20th.