• How will you Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend?

    Binoculars at the ready, feeding stations steady - it's BGBW 2020!

    Big Garden Birdwatch, the world's largest garden wildlife survey is this weekend! Help us celebrate 41 years by taking part for an hour across Saturday 25, Sunday 26 and Monday 27 January.

    How will you #BigGardenBirdWatch?

    To count the wildlife that's counting on you, simply choose one hour anytime between 25 - 27 January and count the birds (and…

    • 20 Jan 2020
  • This week on the ranch: 11-19 January

    This week on the ranch:

    The extra rain has topped up the flashes and there are plenty of duck on the marsh although the WeBS count at the weekend suggested that number (bar Pintail) are a little low due to the mild conditions.

    Lapwing - Steve Knox

    January WeBS Count… 

    Little Grebe


    Great crested Grebe




    Little Egret


    Grey Heron


    Mute Swan


    White-fronted …

    • 17 Jan 2020
  • Boardwalk Update 14 January

    An update on the boardwalk works... all is going well and the crew have moved beyond the entrance to the Purfleet Hide which means that there is access once again to watch the ducks and so forth... Tony Houston saw this Egyptian Goose from there whilst opening up this morning.

    A full circuit is still only possible in an anti-clockwise direction with an exit through the turnstile gate and a return along the river wall…

    • 14 Jan 2020
  • What's about? January 8 2020

    Sorry for the brevity but been a busy day (and evening!). 

    A grey but productive day for those willing to be out in the gloom but the reserve looks brilliant at the moment.

    Wednesday 8th January 2020

    RSPB Rainham Marshes: 7 Mute Swan, [Bar-headed Goose], 25 Shelduck, 135 Shoveler, 50 Gadwall, 40 Pintail, 54 Pochard, 8 Tufted Duck, 5 Water Rail, 1200 Lapwing, 7 Curlew, 185 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Ruff, 300 Dunlin,2x 2cy…

    • 8 Jan 2020
  • Path closures - replacing boardwalk January 2020

    We are going to be doing work on the boardwalk at the Purfleet hide over the next few weeks, to replace the wooden surface with new planking.

    This work will start on Monday 6 January, and is likely to last 6 weeks.

    Access to the Purfleet hide will not be possible for a while – but we plan to sequence the work in such a way that means we will get it back open as soon as we can. In the meantime views across the Purfleet…

    • 4 Jan 2020
  • New Year opening hours...

    New Year Greetings to our wondrous followers...

    Just to let you know our Christmas opening times.

    Christmas Eve: closed from 2pm

    Christmas Day & Boxing Day: closed all day

    New Years Eve: closed from 2pm

    New Years Day: open from 7am

    All other days are 9.30am to 4.30pm

    Oh and there is so much water now that wellies are required to complete a full circuit of the trails!


    And thank you to Helen Mathias for making this…

    • 31 Dec 2019
  • No, not a shark

    I have high hopes that the Harbour Porpoises seen on Saturday will reappear over the incoming tide again today. It is beautiful out there. Water and wildfowl everywhere and a flat calm shiny river. Porp pics by Graham-Truby Surety

    The Harbour Seals were pretty good yesterday too! Pic by Jeff Harrington

    And do not forget that we close at 2pm tomorrow (New Years Eve) but will be opening at 7am on New Years Day

    • 30 Dec 2019
  • New Year - time for something new?

    If you can spare a few hours to help, we are always grateful for volunteers!

      Picture by Howard Vaughan

    Volunteering is a brilliant way to meet new people, be active, learn new things, it's great for your CV, you get to spend time on a lovely reserve too.

    The RSPB has more than 12,000 fantastic volunteers and between them, they contribute almost one million hours every year!

    You can find out about volunteering for the…

    • 29 Dec 2019
  • Guest Blog: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Wildlife Explorers

    Nicolas is the leader of our Wildlife Explorers Group - a monthly group for 6-12 year olds to discover nature and do loads of fun hands on activities. He wanted to send the following message to you all:

    Rahul Thanki (rspb-images.com)  Rahul Thanki (rspb-images.com) 

    Hello everyone,

    First of all on behalf of Steven, Steve and myself (the leaders of the Rainham Marshes Wildlife Explorer Group), we hope you have all had a wonderful festive season and we…

    • 29 Dec 2019
  • Wellies required - 27 December 2019

    Morning all... Christmas done... back on the ranch but we have to tell you that you will need wellies to walk all the way around the reserve. Nice, calm but grey day though.
    • 27 Dec 2019
  • Flood Warning - this weekend 21 and 22 December 2019

    Please note: The Environment Agency has put out a flood warning for the River Mardyke from North Stifford to Purfleet.

    The car park and entrance drive could be affected.

    • 21 Dec 2019
  • The Last Few Days 15-19 December

    With what feels like near constant rain (especially of a night time) the marsh is looking particularly wet and lush at the moment and duck numbers have been steadily increasing with perhaps 2000 across the reserve at the moment.  The sounds of whistling Wigeon, plooping Pintail and plipping Teal can be heard even from the visitors centre.

    Pintail - HTV

    Three Egyptian Geese have been with the Greylags and Canada flock…

    • 19 Dec 2019
  • Visiting Skydancer

    This wondrous juvenile female Hen Harrier has been floating around this morning and was found by H is for Hawk author Helen Macdonald on her very first visit.  She was very pleased, as were we when it reappeared right in front of the centre.

    This enigmatic and much persecuted species used to roost here in small numbers in the winter up until the late 1980s.

    Both these cracking images were taken by Andy Tweed before…

    • 11 Dec 2019
  • Want to work at Rainham - Catering Manager Vacancy

    We are looking for a Catering Manager to join our team! 

    Here's some details:

      Andrew Gouldstone


    Catering Manager

    We are looking for an enthusiastic, confident and highly organised individual to take on the role of Catering Manager at our Rainham Marshes nature reserve.

    You will be responsible for delivering the café's menu offer and driving income to support our conservation work. You will work with an assistant…

    • 8 Dec 2019
  • Guest Blog: Rainham West update by Site Manager Andrew

    Site Manager, Andrew Gouldstone, has written the following blog all about the work on Rainham West. Take it away Andrew:

    Some of you may remember a piece that I wrote for the blog last winter, describing an encounter with a bearded tit (of the avian variety) on the northern boardwalk. That encounter happened whilst I’d been thinking through the various permissions that we needed, so that we could undertake new habitat…

    • 8 Dec 2019
  • The Last Few Days... 29 November to 2 December

    It has been a busy few days out on the reserve with cooler conditions bringing in more wildfowl to the marsh with over 500 each of Wigeon and Teal on Purfleet Scrape on Friday morning with 33 Pintail and the other usual dabblers amongst them.

    Wigeon and a Pintail - HTV

    Big flocks of Greylag and Canada Geese are roaming around and will hopefully draw in some rarer geese but so far only four Brent Geese have taken the…

    • 2 Dec 2019
  • Epic Skies - 27 November 2019

    A smattering of bird news on a very wet and wild week with the Barn and Short-eared Owls still putting on a show when the weather is condusive but today was all about the skies...

    From double rainbows...

    To moody cloud scapes over the high tide

    To not quite sunset Independence Day moments

    Some other ornithological highlights from recent days...

    RSPB Rainham Marshes: Firecrest, Short-eared Owl, Barn Owl, 12 Pintail, 

    • 27 Nov 2019
  • Want to Work at Rainham? Facilities Manager and Catering Manger roles available now!

    We are looking for two people to join our team! 

    We have a two different roles (Catering Manager and Facilities Manager), both full time and permanent.

    Here's some details:

      Andrew Gouldstone

    Facilities Manager

    We are looking for an enthusiastic, confident and highly organised individual to take on the management of the facilities at our Rainham Marshes nature reserve.

    We need someone who has a high attention to detail…

    • 22 Nov 2019
  • Christmas Fair - not long now - Indoors on Sunday 8 December 10am-7pm

    Why not come along to our annual indoor free festive fair to pick up some of those all important seasonal gifts.

    There will be hand made crafts, gin, mead, art, photos, jewellery, bags, decorations, and more - as well as a special cafe menu and of course some appropriate musical accompaniment.!

    • 22 Nov 2019
  • The National Lottery #Thankstoyou - free entry to Rainham

    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. 


    The 25th birthday is a moment to celebrate the extraordinary impact The National Lottery has had right across the UK, and to say thank you to National Lottery players for contributing around £30 million to good causes…

    • 22 Nov 2019
  • 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