• Shorties showing

    The Short-eared Owls are still being seen over the west end of the reserve of an evening and Les got some more excellent shots as up to five birds quartered the marsh.

    • 29 Nov 2011
  • Magical mushrooms...!

    Julie and Ros (two of our Field Teaching team) went for a walk today and found some interesting stuff out on the riverside path.

    There are lots of Shaggy Ink Cap Mushrooms around at the moment and they got some nice shots of some in various stages of development.

    • 28 Nov 2011
  • Tinkering

    Dhruti has been out today strimming those parts of the Purfleet Scrape that were left intact in the re-landscaping and were previously untouchable by the tractor and mower! Two Water pipits and a Little Egret have also been exploring the uncovered expanse.

    Meanwhile Marc has been getting stuck in...

    • 28 Nov 2011
  • KBC Film

    At long last I managed to upload the short video that I made with the Kids Birdwatching Club on the 12th and whether they use it or not it is now part of Britain in a Day film archive.  You never know we may appear in the finished film next year!

    We were watching the White-fronted Geese at the time and as you can see the kids were all quite excited, especially Ben who is rather fond of the species!


    • 26 Nov 2011
  • Wader Species Number 1

    And so on the day that the last of the major works on the new Purfleet Scrape are completed a Dunlin chose to come in and test out the lie of the land.  No water yet bar a few puddles but this will change shortly and this lone bird should be joined by the other 499 that are currently around along with a host of other wadery friends. There is still work to do but things are looking very promising and Nicole, Norman, the…

    • 26 Nov 2011
  • Twinkle Toes

    We saw this Little Egret last week on the pool at the end of the Northern Trail. It sems to have claimed the spot for its own and is usually present. It is becoming quite used to people wandering by and carries on fishing for sticklebacks without a care. In this short film by me you can see it wiggling its yellow toes to both stir up the bottom and attract the fish to its trembling tootsies!

    A beautiful bird and hopefully…

    • 26 Nov 2011
  • Hi ho... hi ho.... hi viz.. (and fetching woolly hats)

    Our Area Manager and Warden heading off for another fun afternoon making sure that the miners (oops! sorry, contractors) are doing as they are told! 

    Please note the matching H&S, PPE, Hi-VIZ gilets and fetching, very much 'this season' head attire.....

    ....meanwhile back in the office, the Senior Mine Officer was trying on her own new PPE Mining Goggles.

    • 25 Nov 2011
  • Damp rodents.... look away now if you do not like furry things!

    Another huge tide today and as such the foreshore was littered with swimming rodents!

    The crows and Magpies had a few but our presence along the old Victorian Wall allowed many to escape!

    Harvest Mice by Brenda and me

    Short-tailed Field Voles (Top two Brenda, bottom one Mark Hart)

    Brown Rats by me and Mark Hart 


    • 25 Nov 2011
  • Bearded Tits on show!

    Fred Roll  got a lovely shot of one doing the aerial splits between reads stems!

    • 25 Nov 2011
  • Dew Drops Delicately Dangling...

    Vaguely poetic... but stunning to look at!

    A late Dog Rose (BC)

    Dew on a cobweb (Me)

    • 25 Nov 2011
  • Nearly there!

    Despite getting a gumper stuck in the mud this afternoon (24th), the team out on Purfleet Scrape have continued at a cracking pace today and things are still looking hopeful for a finish tomorrow!

    Creating the new spit out into Aveley Pool with some of the spoil

    • 25 Nov 2011
  • Parakeet O'clock

    You could almost set your watch by them.... our Ring-necked Parakeets arrive on cue every evening with the first birds heading south across the Thames at about 3pm and the rest following before dark. Today saw a new high with 138 (a new Essex record) on the move. Most were in just two flock and there are 64 in thus dodgy image of mine!

    • 25 Nov 2011
  • Cracking skies again...

    The last two evenings have seen some wonderful skies over the reserve and Thames. Had to go round and lock up tonight and was lucky enough to see a Short-eared Owl liesurely hunting around my head near the Butts Hide! Magic!

    First three by me, last by Brenda

    • 25 Nov 2011
  • Sky full of birds

    The day started well with a Ring Ouzel just outside the centre at 0920 before zooming off towards the woodland... another late migrant. Stangely no winter thrushes at all today. Tony H found a Snow Bunting shortly afterwards on the path by the Butts Hide but it also did not linger. The Wednesday Walk went well despite the fog and we added Yellowhammer, Rock Pipits, dashing Peregrines, the immature male Marsh Harrier and…

    • 23 Nov 2011
  • Purfleet Scrape Update 23rd November

    Still going strong out on the scrape with four caterpillar dumpers and two JCBs working flat out. Hopefully it will be finished by the end of the week and then we shall just need the heavens to provide us with some free moisture to fill them up!

    The spoil is being ditributed over several area and a new spit of land for roosting waders is being contructed out into Aveley Pool.

    All taken by me today

    • 23 Nov 2011
  • We have the Official Olympic 2012 bird pin badges

    Our wonderful shop took delivery of a small number of the new Official Olympic 2012 pin badges. There are eight designs but only 5000 of each exist and we do not have many so once we have sold out that is it so get in quick. They are £6.50 each. Apparently there are others that are available online that we will not be stocking.



    • 22 Nov 2011
  • A little bit of history

    A family friend, Reva Townend, found this old photo recently.

    Reva belonged to the Dagenham Gun Club and they used to train on the Ranges here. Needlesstosay, Reva is the sole lady in the image which she thinks was taken in the late 1940's. From the railway, pylon and proximity of the houses I have been able to place the spot to the Rainham North section of the SSSI looking east towards the shooting butts that used…

    • 22 Nov 2011
  • Summer hanging on...

    You may have seen some RSPB press releases and stuff on Autumn Watch about how there are still summer migrants lurking around. Amazingly, Nicole found a Sedge Warbler out on Wennington on Sunday (20th). This must surely be the latest ever London and Essex record. Who knows what else is out there!  Keep looking!

    • 22 Nov 2011
  • Flocking plovers....

    This flock of Golden Plovers was over the pools yesterday morning.  We reckoned about 300 but were well out!  I have counted every one in the photo and reached 580 with another 42 out of shot from other photos!

    Amazing!  Well done Brenda!

    • 22 Nov 2011
  • Beardies are back!

    They have been showing well by the Dragonfly Pool. I will let the images talk.... 

    All be Brenda

    • 21 Nov 2011
  • And now for some birds! Things I missed!

    Fairly quiet while I was off but four Mergansers (14th) and a Goldeneye (15th) were notable while up to four Short-eared Owls have been seen. Bearded Tits are back in the ditches and a Black Swan was on Aveley Pools this morning (21st)

    Black Swan (BC)

    Goldeneye (BC)

    Red-breasted Mergansers (BC)


    • 21 Nov 2011
  • Hooooge Bog Wood!

    When they started work on the Purfleet Scrape last week they unearthed an enormous piece of neolithic bog wood. This preserved piece of timber is probably over 5000 years old and even still has the root ball attached. It would look likely that it is Yew rather than Oak but I would love to have someone come and in a confirm the id for me.

    Now I know that Nicole, our Warden, is on the petite side but this really is a huge…

    • 21 Nov 2011
  • Work is progressing!

    Came back today to find that the work out on Purfleet Scrape has been moving along apace!  Looking really good already!

    Day one: 14th November: The diggers move in (BC)

    Day one: 14th November: Norman and Nicole plant a route for the diggers (BC)

    Day one: 14th November: Nicole waiting for Norman to give her pole dancing lessons (BC)

    Day three: 16th November: Working in front of the Purfleet Hide (Denis Tuck…

    • 21 Nov 2011
  • Yes, I have been away again....

    Been down in the south-west for the past week and managed to tick off a few more RSPB reserves! The shop at Darts Farm, Topsham, (good for Xmas shopping!) overlooks the fields where the Brent Geese graze and we were lucky enough to find the Red-breasted Goose feeding with the flock!

    We also visited Bowling Green Marsh and enjoyed a spectacular pink sunrise with a host of waders including over 300 swimming Avocets!  Magic…

    • 21 Nov 2011
  • Slow rodent

    This Kestrel was caught with his lunch last week. Pretty sure that it was a mouse of some sort as it had a long tail but the front half had already been eaten by this immature male bird!   Mmmmm.... tasty!

    John Ainsworth

    by me


    • 20 Nov 2011