• Greedy Heron, New Fish

    Last year Bernard Bradshaw took pictures of a Grey Heron fishing in the tidal mouth of the Mar Dyke where it caught an amazing Greater Pipefish which is a relative of the Seahorse (which is also found in the Thames).  It was a new species of fish for us.

    Today, what could concievably be the same adult Grey Heron was caught in the act of despatching an enormous Tub Gurnard! This vivid orange red fish is found in the Thames…

    • 21 Nov 2019
  • The Long Black Friday Sale

    The RSPB Black Friday Sale is upon us in the shop...
    It is a very long Friday lasting from yesterday (which was a Wednesday) through to Wednesday 4th December... (which is also not a Friday)
    • 21 Nov 2019
  • 'Tis the Season to Be Jolly! - Christmas Gifts with Photography in mind


    With the festive season upon us, I thought it a good time to have a plug for some potentially interesting gift ideas. As you well know our hireable Photographic Hide has become very popular in recent weeks but did you know that you can purchase a Gift Voucher for a future slot?

    The same applies to our one-on-one Photographic Tuition Days so if you feel like giving a present with a little sparkle then…

    • 21 Nov 2019
  • There's No Bunting Like Snow Bunting

    Yesterday Tony O'Brien found a Snow Bunting grovelling around on the edges of Purfleet Scrape although he did not know quite what he had found at the time.  Thankfully he sent me a pic and voila an identity was forthcoming!

    Much to my delight (and surprise) it was still present today and had two sessions on view for the visitors before disappearing again.  This Arctic species is just about annual here but usually they…

    • 20 Nov 2019
  • Toad in the Hole

    There is exciting work going on out on Rainham West at the moment to give this area a good working over to help create some habitats similar to those found on Aveley Marsh at the east end of the site.  New fences are being put in, invasive bramble cleared from the middle and lots of new ditches, scrapes, rills and other water holding features.

    However, the best find so far was this large female Common Toad that Ian the…

    • 18 Nov 2019
  • Return of the Reedbed Tit

    The first Penduline Tit for eight years was seen today by a very luck John Humble & Jonathan Ely outside the Marshland Discovery Zone. It did not linger but we have plenty of reedmace to keep checking although it eluded us in a thorough search this afternoon.

    Fingers crossed that it puts in another appearance!

    Two great shots from Jonathan Ely - I will add John Humble's when I get them - So jealous

    The Barn…

    • 17 Nov 2019
  • Guest Blog: Reedbed Clearance Day #1 (14 Nov 2019)

    This is another guest blog from our amazing Warden Jamie:

    Hello again.

    I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone that helped out at yesterday's reedbed clearance day! It means a lot, and makes such a big difference to the reserve. 

    Reedbeds are a key habitat for the reserve - not just here at Rainham, but for the whole of the country. 

    Reedbeds are important for a wide range of creatures including birds, mammals and…

    • 15 Nov 2019
  • Optics Weekend - Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December

    With the festive season fairly imminent don't forget that we have a complete selection of RSPB binoculars and telescopes for you to try before you buy and out Optics Weekend over Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December is the best place to have a gander at what we have on offer.

    So please pop in and have a look and one of our trained optics advisors will be able give you some guidance.

    Oh and do not forget that…

    • 14 Nov 2019
  • Warm your chilly hands around some Firecrests!

    Evening all...  It was calm, still and bright today and that got people out looking for Firecrests as hearing their high pitched calls and catching movement was easier!

    One Firecrest was in the gorse at near the Serin Mound, another was around the Centre gardens and the other two were in the ivy between the Cordite entrances. - Good luck!

    Wednesday 13th November 2019

    • RSPB Rainham Marshes: 4 Firecrest, 8 Goldcrest, f…

    • 13 Nov 2019
  • Reedbed Clearance - first day is tomorrow!

    Tomorrow is the first of the Reedbed Clearance Days - each year we have to cut a proportion of the 29 hectares of reed bed across the reserve. This helps preserve and improve the habitat., and we need your help removing the reed by raking and transferring into builders sacks. If you would like the opportunity to get down off the visitor trail and into a reed bed then it would be great if you could make one, or both of…

    • 13 Nov 2019
  • Remembrance Sunday

    Morning all...

    As usual the reserve will be respecting the two minute silence at 11am to remember the Fallen. If you are visiting please join us in taking a moment to remember what our precious reserve used to be and the role it played in the deployment of troops from many nations to battlefields many would never return from...

    • 10 Nov 2019
  • Reedbed Clearance - one off volunteering day. We need you!

    This is another guest blog from our Warden Jamie:

    In Autumn and Winter the team of brilliant staff and volunteers of the wardening team are out on the reserve in the ditches, covered in mud cutting and managing the reedbeds.

    Annual rotational cutting of a proportion of the 29 hectares of reedbed is both vital for the health of this habitat, and a requirement of our higher level stewardship (HLS) agreement with the Department…

    • 9 Nov 2019
  • Guest Blog: Plastic Pollution Beach Clean 7 November 2019

    This is another guest blog from our fantastic Warden Jamie:

    On Thursday 7 November over 40 members of the public and a whole host of Rainham volunteers headed out on to the foreshore of the River Thames for our Plastic Pollution Beach Clean.

    We were lucky with the day - the sun was shining and a group of people turned up to give us a hand. After checking in with Paul we headed out onto the foreshore.

    With the exceptionally…

    • 9 Nov 2019
  • Guest Blog: Plastic Pollution Beach Clean - a thank you from Jamie!

    Just a short note from Rainham Marshes Warden Jamie Smith to say how well today's plastic foreshore cleanup went "the turn out was massive and very welcome, thank you to all those who came along and gave up their time and worked so hard, the photo shows how much plastic was collected, there will be a more comprehensive post to show exactly how the day went, but for now, thank you one and all from everyone at…

    • 8 Nov 2019
  • Birdy Bits - 6th November

    And a quick sightings update too from an avian point of view...

    There were a few Firecrest sightings again aeound the car park and Mar Dyke area and a pair of Peregrines were having a tussle over head early doors while two Barn Owls and a Short-eared Owl entertained those who waited it out as dusk fell overlooking the Enclosed Bay...

    Firecrest - Tom Bell

    Barn Owl - Ian Plume

    • 6 Nov 2019
  • Mosquitours - a day of discovery

    Well that was a different sort of day. I had been asked to take around three Doctors from the London School of Health and Tropical Medicine who have booked an early spring Masters student visit to conduct some work on Mosquitoes.

    My job was to find places where they would be able to sample water for the various stages of Mosquito growth and possibly some spots where adults may be vaguely sitting out the cooler months…

    • 6 Nov 2019
  • The National Lottery's Guide to 25 Amazing Outdoor Adventures and special offers

    This Autumn The National Lottery celebrates it 25 birthday. 

    Since 1994 over half a billion pounds of National Lottery funding has been invested in over 9,200 projects to help people enjoy the great outdoors. We are one of those projects and are delighted to have been included in their Guide to 25 Amazing Outdoor Adventures to celebrate!

    Check it out: http://www.nationallotterygreatoutdoors25.co.uk/

    Rainham Marshes visitor centre by Tony O'Brien

    Rainham Marshes visitor…

    • 6 Nov 2019
  • Remember, remember the wildlife of November

    There have been some great sightings so far in November with increasing numbers of Lapwing, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwits, Wigeon and Teal on the ever wettening marsh. Small groups of Redwings and Fieldfares have been seen along with migrant Blackbirds and Song Thrushes down and scoffing berries.

    Blackbird - Tom Bell

    Curlew - Bernard Bradshaw

    Black-tailed Godwit - Ian Plume

    Black-tailed Godwits - Joan Chatterley


    • 5 Nov 2019
  • Into the weekend: 1November 2019

    Quite a good haul from the Rumsbys and Friday posse on a grey late autumn day:

    Friday 1st November 2019

    · RSPB Rainham Marshes: Snow Bunting (heading west - did not stop) Short Eared Owl (briefly in the Enclosed Bay), Dartford Warbler (around river wall near centre but only at 0730) 6 Redwing, 12 Blackbird, 4 Goldcrest, 12 Skylark, 20 Avocet, 230 Wigeon, 7 Rock Pipit, 3 Water Pipit, 145 Great Black Backed Gull, 5 Yellow…

    • 1 Nov 2019
  • Shop Late Opening Tomorrow - Saturday 2 November

    Afternoon all.. just a quick message to let you know that the shop will not open until lunchtime tomorrow (2nd November) due to staff shortages. Apologies for any inconvenience

    • 1 Nov 2019
  • Wild Families at Half Term and a new volunteer...

    Pond Dipping proved popular once again over the half term and on Tuesday we even had a special Bug Hunt day too. 

    Phil went down and helped the ladies at the Woodland Discovery Zone and in the gardens and had a wild time grubbing under logs and swishing his net in the ponds for beetles and such like.

    Here is short video from Kim Clark of some of the amazing wildlife they caught!

    We have added an extra session on Sunday…

    • 1 Nov 2019
  • More reeds than you can shake, well, a reed at...

    Paul Radford, one of our hard working Wardening Team has put together a few words on the ongoing reedbed management works out on the marsh...

    Over to Paul:

    It’s not unusual to see members of the Wardening Team covered in mud and stinking of ditch water during the extremely busy Autumn and Winter months.  However, 2019 is proving to be exceptionally busy, as management and support of contractors carrying out habitat…

    • 1 Nov 2019
  • Plastic Pollution - Beach Clean at RSPB Rainham Marshes

    If you are free on Thursday 7 November, 10 am-1 pm - we need help with a littler pick!

    With the exceptionally high tides recently a huge amount of rubbish has washed up on the foreshore of the Thames on the River Wall section of the reserve.

      Picture by Howard Vaughan.

    We need your help.

    Join us on Thursday 7 November - meet other nice people and get your lungs pumped up with fresh air and enjoy the beauty of this particular…

    • 31 Oct 2019
  • Keep them birds fed!

    Our bird feeders around the visitor centre are a big draw for both the public and the birds and our colony of nearly 200 House Sparrows is something that we are incredibly proud of having nurtured it from one solitary female to its current healthy state.

    We have fed the birds here every single day since we opened on the 16th November 2006 and topping them up is an important part of the day’s work.

    Tony and Pat often…

    • 31 Oct 2019
  • A Puff of East

    The ever freshening easterly actually brought a few bits up the Thames today on the incoming tide and by the time it was nearly in we had seen four Common Scoter, three Red-breasted Mergansers and two beady eyed Goldeneye.  Anyone of these species here is a good day but all three together in the same scope scan was pretty cool.

    female Merganser - Andy Tweed

    There was plenty else to be seen with some good counts for the…

    • 30 Oct 2019