• The Big Butterfly Count 2019 - and butterflies at Rainham

    Peacock by Ian Plume

    Each year the wonderful organisation Butterfly Conservation run a Big Butterfly Count

    Butterfly Conservation is an organisation the focuses on the conservation of butterflies and moths. Each year, since 2010, they have been running the Big Butterfly Count - a nationwide survey aimed at helping assess the health of the environment. It was launched in 2010 and has rapidly become the world's biggest…

    • 20 Jul 2019
  • Into the weekend - 19th July

    Just a quick note as getting late...

    It was quite a day...

    Friday 19th July 2019

    RSPB Rainham Marshes:- Spoonbill, 2 Great White Egret, 23 Little Egret, f Wigeon, 3 Marsh Harrier, juv Red Kite,  3 Oystercatcher, 7 Avocet, Curlew, 4 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Redshank, 30 Lapwing, 30 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Ruff, Snipe, 2 Greenshank, 3juv Great Black-backed Gull, ad Mediterranean Gull, 2 juv Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Common Tern…

    • 19 Jul 2019
  • Wildlife Highlights - 13-16 July 2019

    On the Aveley Pools there has been spoonbill and cattle egret! It's also been a good place to see avocet, greenshank, black-tailed godwit, curlew, dunlin, greensandpiper, redshank and lapwing.

    Spoonbill with Cattle Egret behind - Sunday - Martin Jordan

    Spoonbill with Black-tailed Godwits - both shots by Andy Tweed

    The bearded tit family have been showing off round by the grit trays.

    Bearded Tit - Andy Tweed

    Lots…

    • 16 Jul 2019
  • Wildlife Highlights - 10 and 11 July

    The Aveley Pool has been a good place for waders with wood sandpiper, greenshank, redshank, green sandpiper, common sandpiper, avocet, lapwing, black tailed godwit, snipe and curlew showing nicely. 

    The bearded tits are showing nicely - the best place is around near the grit trays.

    Jerry Hoare took this picture of a juvenile earlier today:

    It's worth keeping an eye out for a variety of butterflies and dragonfli…

    • 11 Jul 2019
  • Car Park Flies

    Summer is often more about the invertebrates at Rainham Marshes than the birds and a little walk in the sunshine around the car park produced some cracking hoverflies.  They seem particularly keen on the yellow composites that grow there including Perennial Sow Thistles and Bristly Ox Tongue.

    I found about ten species in a quick look, most of which are designed to resemble wasps and thus avoid predation.

    male Eupeodes…

    • 9 Jul 2019
  • The start of July...

    A nice spell of warm weather had brought about an insect bonanza as already seen with the wondrous Clearwing moths that I posted yesterday.

    Butterflies are now scooting around all over the marsh with many Meadow Browns, the first Gatekeepers and lots of chocolate Ringlets dancing around the centre. I am pleased to say that Marbled Whites must have successfully bred last year as we have had good numbers reported along…

    • 5 Jul 2019
  • Summertime and the mothing is easy...

    Warm summer days are ideal for trying to find day flying Clearwing moths but these ephemeral little insects with transparent wings are very difficult to find as they zip around at high speed and seem to rarely settle for long.

    The way to find them is by luring them in using the particular pheromone of the female of each species and by hanging this little bag of fake insect ponginess on or near their chosen larval food…

    • 4 Jul 2019
  • Get Wild this summer!

    Get your family active and get wild this summer...

    If you are looking for things to do over the school holidays here are some ideas that you can do as a family:

    Nature is in full bloom, so there’s no better time to get outside and see what’s going on. And, if you want to help nature on a wider scale, why not join the RSPB and help give nature a home? As well as the warm glow of helping wildlife around the…

    • 3 Jul 2019
  • New Hunters

    Just a quick little blog to say that we have at least two fledged Marsh Harriers to add to the predators patrolling the marsh.  

    It looks like one has a couple of white wing feathers so at least one of their parents is probably the same one that gave us the temporarily spotted youngsters that we had in 2018.

    All three images by Nick Lay

    • 1 Jul 2019
  • Big Wild Sleepout 3 August 2019

    Big Wild Sleepout at Rainham Marshes

    Saturday 3 August

    6 pm Saturday - 9 am Sunday

    Price: £30 adult (£25 RSPB member), £15 children (£12.50 RSPB member)

    Booking essential

    Join us for a Big Wild Sleepout and camp in nature’s home at RSPB Rainham Marshes!


    We are going to have a Big Wild Sleepout and camp at the reserve! Join us for an amazing opportunity that gives you the chance to experience…

    • 21 Jun 2019
  • Invertebrate sightings

    At this time of year there is a lot of different wildlife around to see - birds,water vole, common lizards, flowers (by the way - we have a brilliant plant id walk coming up on 7 July - check it out here), bees, butterflies, dragonflies, and a whole host of other invertebrates.

    This blog is celebrating some of the smaller inhabitants of the reserve - the invertebrates

    Peacock butterfly - Michael Franklin

    (Spider warning…

    • 16 Jun 2019
  • A Celebration with Miranda Krestovnikoff - 50 years of RSPB groups STILL TICKETS FOR TONIGHT (14 June)

    Our friends at the North East London RSPB Local Group are celebrating their 50th anniversary and you can join them - on Friday 14 June

    Join them and Miranda Krestovnikoff, television wildlife presenter and RSPB President, at a special event celebrating 50 years of RSPB Local Groups.
    50 years ago the RSPB started its first Local Group, known as the Epping Forest Group. After many years of talks, trips, films, fund raising…
    • 14 Jun 2019
  • Path update: today, Thursday 13 June

    Just a quick update - there has been a change to the works schedule (see blog here) boardwalk.

    Today, Thursday 13 June: the boardwalk will be fully open today so you will be able to complete the full loop.

    The hides will all be open, a group of children may pop into the MDZ Hide at some point to do some birdwatching - it's great to see the next generation of wildlife lovers getting close to nature.

    Today’s children…

    • 13 Jun 2019
  • The greenery is growing...

    We manage our reserve for wildlife but also to enable you, the visitors to enjoy the wonders of the fauna and flora that call it home.  During the late spring and summer the vegetation really gets going and we try to keep the trails open as much as possible without disturbing the wildlife that may be using it.

    Keeping greenery off the paths by mowing a narrow margin and ‘light touch’ pruning back of overhanging Brambles…

    • 12 Jun 2019
  • Boardwalk closure Tuesday 11 June: update

    Our fantastic (and speedy) wardening staff and volunteers have finished the work on the section of boardwalk just past the Shooting Butts Hide. This means that you will be able to complete the whole loop!

    The team were out replacing a section of subframe that needed some more - not an easy job - so a big thank you to the team!

    We will still be closing a section boardwalk between the Purfleet hide and Marshland Discovery…

    • 11 Jun 2019
  • This week 10-16 June: boardwalk closures, education, events and recent sightings

    This week we have a couple of boardwalk closures this week, so I wanted to let you know.

    Tuesday 11 June - we will be closing a section of boardwalk on the northern trails so you will not be able to complete a whole circuit. The fantastic wardening team will be fixing the sub-frame of the boardwalk around the northern boardwalk. You will be able to go clockwise to the Shooting Butts hide, or anti-clockwise to the Ken…

    • 10 Jun 2019
  • Father's Day at Rainham Marshes

    Treat Dad this Fathers Day!

    Enjoy a lunch special in our café (keep reading for details!), Dad’s go free on the reserve, join the Wildlife Walk to discover nature at  Rainham Marshes, and buy a special gift from our shop!

    Delight Dad to a new pair of binoculars (our optics experts will be around to help you), or pick up a fabulous book, or buy something for his garden. Dads get half price bike hire, and you…

    • 7 Jun 2019
  • Beautiful Beardies

    I think that we have five pair of Bearded Tits around the trail at the moment and their first broods are already out of the nest and roaming the reedbeds. Sometimes they can be very accommodating!

    Just out the nest. How cute is that? - Maddy Howard

    This one is a you male with the black on the lores and the already pale eyes - Steve Knox

    Bill Moss

    having a scratch - Tom Bell

    The adults ares still very active and have…

    • 7 Jun 2019
  • Shop Offers in June

    Two new offers to tempt you in ....

    50% OFF our Suet Gift Punnets, all of that suet for just £8.99!

    and our RSPB Bronze and Green Bird Baths have 20% OFF making them now only £13.59... Bargain!

    Both offers end on the the 18th June...

    • 6 Jun 2019
  • Fishing skills...

    Our Grey Herons have been caught on camera a few times in recent days adeptly catching fish out on the pools.  Rudd is the only regular 'big' fish that we get on the reserve (although the odd Tench and Perch have been seen over the years along with sinuous Eels) and it isn't until you see one impaled by a hungry Heron that you get to see just how deep keeled and beautiful this fish is as they look grey and torpedo like…

    • 6 Jun 2019
  • Bundles of joy...

    Today is the 3rd June and yet it feels like it is several weeks later out on the marsh which is alive with young birds amongst the lush vegetation.  The cows are doing a great job at helping keep the mosaic of habitat suitable for the young waders to both feed and hide but it is getting increasingly difficult to keep track on them. 

    Some of the Lapwings have even fledged already and Redshank chicks are not far behind.

    • 3 Jun 2019
  • Rare Let Nature Sing Pin Badges - spotted at Rainham! (and other sightings)

    Our rare #LetNatureSing pin badges have been sighted at #RSPBRainham Marshes! We don’t expect them to be around long, so why not visit the reserve this weekend and give one a home?

    Each £2 badge purchased helps us create more homes for wildlife too!

    Share your pin pictures on social media with us using the hashtags #LetNatureSing #RSPBPins #RSPBRainham and feel free to tag @Natures_Voice and @RSPBUrban

    • 27 May 2019
  • Into the weekend

    Apologies but it is late I thought I would just quickly share today's sightings before I turn in...

    Bit of a wader and tern day...

    Friday 17th May 2019
    • RSPB Rainham Marshes:- Cattle Egret, Little Tern, 9 Sanderling, m Garganey, 4 Marsh Harrier, 7 Avocet, 5 Grey Plover, 43 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 13 Ruff, 5 Dunlin, 13 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 6 Oystercatcher, 28 Arctic Tern, 28 Common Tern, 2m Cuckoo…

    • 17 May 2019
  • Wildlife sightings - so far this week (6-10 May 2019)

    This week has been pretty changeable, weather wise, but it has been busy wildlife wise.

    There has been lots of waders around including bar-tailed godwit, black-tailed godwit, knot, dunlin, grey plover, whimbrel, lapwing, and redshank.

    Bar-tailed godwits and a whimbrel by Ian Plume. The bar-tailed gowits have been spending their time on Aveley Bay and the Purfleet Scrape so it's worth keeping an eye out!

    Avocet…

    • 11 May 2019
  • Bank Holiday Monday - a return to Blighty

    I returned from my extended sojourn on Lesvos to be greeted by a very chilly Rainham river wall on Bank Holiday Monday morning but I was instantly warmed by the plethora of new birds for my year list that had arrived in my absence.

    There were Whitethroats singing all around and performing bouncing song flights, Reed Warblers gurked and Sedge Warblers scratched and the Grasshopper warbler briefly reeled too.  Three male…

    • 8 May 2019