• Today on the marshes...

    A good selection of stuff today with three each of Buzzard and juvenile Marsh Harrier through the site and Hobbies being seen most of the day. Turnstone and Knot were pick of the waders and Yellow Wagtails are still to be found out amongst the cattle while Goldfinches and Linnets are massing.

    Two Harbour Porpoises were seen again in Aveley Bay and a juvenile Kittiwake flew up river.

    Easterlies for the rest of the week…

    • 1 Sep 2011
  • The Water Rail Family Part Deux

    Just lots of great images from the weekend...

    A satisfying scratch!  (Les Harrison)

    These three by David Bradnum

    Neil Phillips

    Matthew Foakes

    • 1 Sep 2011
  • Wondrous water rails!

    Bit of a picture deluge to come of the showy Water Rail family at the weekend!

    Will start with some video by budding birder Matthew Foakes (read about him in the latest Birdwatching Magazine!). I will add some more images in a little while.


    Note the black fluffy chick popping into view!

    • 1 Sep 2011
  • All a glow...

    Thursday night also gave us our best count of Glow Worms for the year with eight individuals found. The eery glow is quite something when you are out on the marsh at night! Our reserve is one of the best places in Essex to encounter this funky beetle. Hopefully we should be able to find some on our up and coming Bat and Moth Night walks that happen each Friday during September.  There are still places but you will need…

    • 30 Aug 2011
  • Bulls on film....

    As promised I now have the Battling Bulls movie from Thursday evening.  Excuse the light quality but it was gone 8pm and Richard's camera did an amazingly good job to get this much light out of the sky!  They had started to whither a bit by now with lots of head-to-head standing around but the blood was still pumping and I suspect that it went on after we lost the ability to see what was going on!


    • 29 Aug 2011
  • ...and so to the birds....

    It was generally another foul, nasty, wet day with very low cloud and often very poor visibility and as we hoped it was to prove a good decision to spend as much of the day as possible lurking on the balcony. Terns again featured and amongst the 223 Common Terns were two Sandwich, 20 Arctic, 17 Blacks and two very special terns. The first was a juvenile White Winged Black Tern that motored up river and amazingly about…

    • 27 Aug 2011
  • Colombian Gloria Glides By

    It seemd to take forever but the Gloria eventually came into view on the receeding tide this afternoon and a fine sight she was too. If only she had been under sail!  We had quite a crowd by the time she appeared.

    Some facts: The Gloria is the official flagship and sail-training ship of the Colombian Navy, and her home port is Cartagena. Purpose-built in 1968 as a sail-training ship in the Celeya shipyard in Spain, the…

    • 27 Aug 2011
  • Late Night on the Marshes

    Last night saw our final Dusk Walk of the season and it was a good one with Avocets in the Bay, eight Glow Worms in the woodland Little Egrets heading off to roost. Many bats were seen and I am waiting for a list of those detected!

    Highlight for me and those in the centre was the huge fight between our two top bulls out on Aveley Marsh! It started at about 7.30 and went on till well afterthe sun had set behind the landfill…

    • 27 Aug 2011
  • a very different day!

    Its started off so well with more claggy weather and some rain and this gave the early watchers two Sandwich Terns, a Black Tern and 13 Turnstone for their troubles. It rained steadily at the start of the Wednesday Walk but we persevered and managed to find some good passerine flocks in the cordite woodland including Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs amongst the tits. The water level on Aveley Pool is still too…

    • 25 Aug 2011
  • Auks from above............the full story!

    As for that initial Razorbill... what I did not tell you all earlier in all the excitement was that Andy Tweed and I literally willed it into existence. We had been reminiscing about the week after the Kentish Tufted Puffin in 2009 when we found Atlantic (our) Puffin and Guillemot on the River and how we had not had an auk since... Andy said that we still wanted a Little Auk for Rainham Marshes (which I have had...) and…

    • 24 Aug 2011
  • ... and some more Sedgies!

    More baby Sedge Warblers have appeared (prob the last this year) and this one posed very well for Les Harrison. Africa here we come!

    • 24 Aug 2011
  • Amazing Auks

    An easterly wind and rain pushing up river has already provided us with some great birds this morning with over 14 Avocet, 100 Common Terns, 3 Arctics and a record five Littles (in one flock).

    However the prize so far goes to the winter plumaged Razorbill that flew by at 0830 and headed up river. Amazingly it has just returned for another flyby. This is not a new bird for the reserve but the first since the 20th February…

    • 23 Aug 2011
  • More Beardy shots

    just got these baby Bearded Tit shots from Dawn Cowan from Sunday.... very nice.

    • 22 Aug 2011
  • Another new ladybird for the marsh

    Mark Hart found a Bryony Ladybird in the woodland yesterday. This striking orange beetle is a new arrival in the UK with the first sighting as recently as 1997. Nearly all the records have been from the London area and I believe that this is the first Essex record.... sure someone will put me right if I am wrong!


    • 22 Aug 2011
  • yet another Cuckoo

    I reckon that this is our best ever year for baby Cuckoos on the marsh with at least four different birds seen so far. Brenda captured this one on the fence by the 'Bus-Stop' on Friday.



    • 22 Aug 2011
  • Aerial Experts

    Migrant Hawker becomes the commonest type of big dragonfly this time of year with swarms sometimes congregating in insect food hotspots where they zoom around in search of a snack. They are not a long as Emperors of Southern Hawkers and lack the rich bronze wings of Brown Hawker but have are often to be found away from water and seem to like hunting at head height or higher. Needless to say this puts them firmly on the…

    • 22 Aug 2011
  • Beardies do it again!

    Sneaky little blighters! Not only did a pair of Bearded Tits managed to raise two young without us noticing but they have gone and raised a second brood with four recently fledged youngsters seen today by David and Julie Dent whilst out volunteering on the reserve. they even got a picture down by the Dragonfly Pool.



    • 22 Aug 2011
  • Super stripy tiger steals the show

    On Friday a splendid Jersey Tiger moth was found feeding happily on the spearmint in the wildlife garden and was enjoyed by many. This stripy black, white and orange beauty is still scarce in the UK but had a blossoming London population and is not the first one to be found here in recent years. Two other species have been seen here; the Garden Tiger and the Cream Spot Tiger.

    Jersey (Brenda Clayton)

    Jersey (Chris…

    • 21 Aug 2011
  • Reed Bunting

    All the singing is over now for another year so nice to go back and listen to a happy chirpy sound of a summer marsh. Soon all the Reed Buntings will all be brown and stripy again!

    • 19 Aug 2011
  • Not Rainham Marshes but coming to a reserve nearby...

    I was fortunate enough to be taken around the as yet unopened Bowers Marsh reserve today by Marc Outten. This huge area is part of the South Essex Marshes that already include West Canvey Marshes, Vange Wick and Vange Marsh . It is still in the fledgling stage with dumpers, diggers and other JCBs all over the site but hopefully it will not be too long before it opens its metaphorical doors to the public.

    Nicole and…

    • 19 Aug 2011
  • I suppose you think that's funny!

    When lunch goes wrong... (Fred Roll)

    • 18 Aug 2011
  • A reminder for Thursday

    Just a quick note to remind any visitors that the Purfleet Hide will be closed till 2pm on Thursday. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

    • 17 Aug 2011