• 2011... Not too shoddy!

    And so another year ends... have just totted things up and I reckon that we ended up on about 192 species for the year (18 behind the staggering 2010). It was not a truly great year but had some memorable moments, not least the Slaty Backed Gull (new to GB) in January and February, another Alpine Swift  in April, Manx Shearwater and both Guillemots and Razorbill in the autumn, a double rare tern day in August with Whiskered…

    • 1 Jan 2012
  • Last day...

    It would have been nice to have gone out on BIG Day on the reserve but it has barely got light all day and the breeze has kept everything bar the Lapwings down. Temperature wise it has been around the 14c mark all day which is just ludicrous for the last day in December. I hope that when I open up prior to dawn tomorrow that the rain holds off and the wind drops as I reckon that despite the unseasoanl weather any visitors…

    • 31 Dec 2011
  • Jack's Back!

    Pat Hart found a Jack Snipe bobbing along the back of Aveley pool in the fast detriorating weather this afternoon.  Birding was quite hard going on the site today but the Peregrines put on regular shows and the Lapwings were spectacular but with no light there was no shimmering!

    Also got sent some shots of those Kittiwakes from the other day that seem to be lingering around Grays with occasional sorties past the bridge…

    • 31 Dec 2011
  • Who's feather??

    I have my suspicions as to whom the feather belongs... found it in the woodland...

    Open to suggestions!

    Ok then... not one guess???  Well I reckon that it could be a Long-eared Owl breast feather. Found on the path between ivy covered trees. Supremely soft with very rich down filoplumes.  Anyone care to throw in another opinion?


    • 30 Dec 2011
  • ... and some more stamps!

    Had another huge bag of stamps brought in today from the Church Commissioners and 2nd Swanley Brownie pack... thanks folks for all the hard effort!

    • 30 Dec 2011
  • Keep them stamps coming!

    The response to the appeal for postage stamps for the Save the Albatross Appeal has been great and people have been bringing hem into reception at Rainham Marshes on a daily basis. Even the common stamps are valuable so please save them all and do not forget that this is not just a Christmas Appeal but is always on going.  I was down at Dungeness the other day and collected a huge envelope of Australian stamps that had…

    • 29 Dec 2011
  • Turned out nice

    After a blustery start with low cloud and the threat of rain it actually ended up being another glorious afternoon out on the reserve. Bearded Tits were seen early doors and the Peregrines were doing there stuff. Over 60 Golden Plover were with the Lapwing  and Stonchats showed well near the Purfleet Hide while a Water Pipit and two Rock Pipits were sen just outside again. The waters are still very slowly rising and more…

    • 29 Dec 2011
  • and so.... the end is near...

    Well that was Christmas over and done with; two days of food, booze, snoring and 'interesting' TV.... meanwhile back on the ranch! A busy day with over 300 happy punters through the doors on a dull but generally very calm and very, very mild day! At times it felt more like March than a few days away from the New Year.

    As such the reserve is still waiting for a winter freeze (and some more water!) but at least…

    • 28 Dec 2011
  • You learn something every day....

    Now, all the books say that one of the key behavioural features of Jack Snipe is that they habitually bob... Common Snipe on the other hand does not; well certainly in my experience!

    Mmmm... wrong again!

    Have a butchers at this little video clip taken by Clive Watts from the Ken Barrett Hide and you will see otherwise!


    • 25 Dec 2011
  • Have a good one.....!

    Been a busy day here with lots of visitors and plenty of last minute shopping and cake eating!

    Bearded Tits showed well again today and the Lapwings have been shimmering in the afternoon sun. Twelve Kittiwakes up river behind the Sand Fulmar dredger would have been notable though if they had got past the QEII bridge and not left the boat behind!

    Thought I would end the day with yet another fine sunset to calm everyone…

    • 24 Dec 2011
  • Chirpy Cock Sparras

    With all the mild weather it is not surprising that so much is in song with Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Robins, Wrens, Dunnocks, Blue and Great Tits proclaiming their joy at non-freezing conditions!

    The House Sparrows around the centre are very noisy and boisterous at the moment and over a hundred are regualarly around the feeders!

    (Les Harrison)



    • 24 Dec 2011
  • Stormcock

    Mistle Thrush is a scarce bird on the marshes, especially in the winter and Brenda captured this bird in the woodland. Their old country name of Stormcock is drived from the fact that Mistle Thrushes aften sing in poor weather and their melancoly but beautiful song can be heard even at this time of year as they set up winter territories. Beautiful!

    • 23 Dec 2011
  • Rainham Marshes Returns

    On Tuesday we had about 300 Teal on site but yesterday these numbers had swollen to over 1300.... magic! A big sky full of duck! Wigeon remain stable at about 300 which is low for the time of year and about ten Pintail are still around along with the first two Pochard of the season. The newly reformed Purfleet Scrape is looking promising but has yet to draw down the wildfowl but with the fencing contractors off site after…

    • 23 Dec 2011
  • Finishing touches to Purfleet Scrape

    The fencing contractors have been back in today and have started to put the electric predator proof fence back up around Purfleet Scrape so that the whole area is now encompassed by this defensive line. They are making short work of it so there will be little disturbance. The first Lapwings were on the newly flooded areas this morning so things are looking up.

    • 21 Dec 2011
  • Weird Skies

     A very strange afternoon here on the reserve with peculiar curtain-like cloud hanging beneath the rest of the bobbly cloud base and drifting east up the river.


    • 20 Dec 2011
  • Colin the Cormorant

    Words by me... images by Brenda

    Click image to make bigger!

    • 20 Dec 2011
  • One Fieldfare does not a winter make....

    With all the talk on the forum about Fieldfares (and the fact that at the moment there are very few around!) I thought I would post this cracking shot of a single bird in the Cordite on Sunday morning taken by Julie Dent.

    I am sure that if we ever get any proper winter weather with a bit of easterly in it then we shall have Fieldfares by the dozen!

    A wet and soggy day but good for the reserve... I reckon that some…

    • 20 Dec 2011
  • Santa Success

    Sound like Santa's visit at the weekend was very well received by all the eager familes and the elves seemed pretty happy to!

    • 19 Dec 2011
  • Sundown

    And yes I could probably post a different sunset picture every day but I have to restrain myself. 

    • 18 Dec 2011
  • Meet Santa! There is still time!

    Santa is definitely on his way and this is just a little reminder that there are still a few spaces to come and see him on both the 12pm-2pm and 2pm-4pm sessions on this Sunday. Unfortunately Santa is now fully booked up for today!  Please ring 01708 899850 for a last minute appointment!

    • 17 Dec 2011