• Flies, Hides and Bugs

    Last nights rain has left the reserve looking positively verdant this morning. It is still overcast now but the temperature has risen slightly and the sun is trying to peak through. A Spotted Flycatcher was seen yesterday but there was no sign of it this morning but a Turtle Dove was ample recompense. Hundreds of Swifts around and the Sand Martins have been coming down to dust bath on top of the river wall.

    Spotted…

    • 27 May 2010
  • Eyes to the skies

    Who would have thought that yesterday it nearly reached 30c and that today would be 12c cooler. However this change and the easterly wind that brought it delivered a few waders this afternoon to the reserve with a Turnstone and 16 Ringed Plover on the foreshore and a drake Garganey out on the Target Pools. No Kites today but there had obviously been an unprecedented movement going on with 13 local sightings since the…

    • 26 May 2010
  • Another scorcher...

    Nice to have a day off out of the sun to be honest! However, just because I am not there does not mean that I do not get to find out about the birds!

    Three Marsh Harriers today including a wing-tagged immature male and our fifth Red Kite in eight days! Just wish the Spoonbill would come back.

    oh and I may have got that Jumping Spider wrong.... will post back when I have sussed it out!

    • 25 May 2010
  • still awake!

    ... and boy did it get warm today! Too hot to be out for long for anyone and even the insect and bird life went quiet in the middle of the day.  A day to sit back and enjoy the view with a nice cuppa and a bit of cake!

    The dawn chorus was another great success with everyone getting excellent views of the male Cuckoo. An early birder struck lucky this morning with a Spoonbill that left at 0820 before we even knew it…

    • 24 May 2010
  • the early bird

    Here again before the sun dared to show its face. Rainham is quite peacfeul at 3am albeit with a background of croaking frogs, chattering Sedge Warblers, gurking Reeds, Blackbirds, Robins, Wrens and even a Cuckoo, redshank and Lapwing joining in before the first rays.

    Looks like it will be another gorgous day...

    • 23 May 2010
  • A scorching Royal moth!

    A beautiful day on the reserve but quiet bird wise although eight Hobbies, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard and a Red Kite (west at 11am) were seen. The Great Crested Grebes seem to have another nest and Lapwings are displaying again. Highlight for me was a fine male Emperor Moth, the first adult we have ever seen here despite years of finding the groovy caterpillars. Also seven ladybird species today and a new Jumping Spider species…

    • 22 May 2010
  • enjoying the weather!

    afternoon all

    Another glorious day on the reserve. At least seven Hobbies have kept us entertained all day along with a couple of Buzzards and the female Marsh Harrier. Lots of insects on the wing today as well. Oh and the Raven was seen again yesterday!

    There are still a few places left on the Insect Afternoon walk tomorrow from 1pm!

    • 21 May 2010
  • A bit of an insect day...

    Another fine start to the day which gradually warmed itself to respectability. Lots of insect life today with 11 species of butterfly including only the second ever Green Hairstreak for the reserve. Hairy Hawkers started to emerge and the first Blur-tailed Damsels joined the Large Reds.

    Green Hairstreak by Brenda Clayton

    Hairy Hawker by Peter Warne

    The wildlife garden pond now looks fabulous and Ragged Robin and…

    • 19 May 2010
  • I must be back from holiday!

    Having seemingly avoided the coldest, windiest start to May in many years, it was rather nice to have prolonged spells of sunshine this afternoon across the reserve with occasional showers that generally gave us enough warning to be able to scuttle back inside!

    Anyway still fairly quiet with two Whimbrel being the only passage waders at all, even over the high tide. Lots of hirundines and Swifts on the move though.…

    • 18 May 2010
  • Dawn Chorus and the last two weeks

    Sorry for the lack of posts but I have been away on a well deserved break in Lesvos. Ok, so a bit of a Busmans Holiday but the birding, weather, food, scenery and other wildlife was amazing.

    Been back two days and on the reserve from 0300 this morning for our first of two Dawn chorus events.  Everyone is still out with the the walk leaders at the moment but despite the forecast, the day has started clear, bright, sunny…

    • 16 May 2010