• Funkypillar...

    With mild air still prevailing there are still many invertebrates to find out on the reserve. Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters still rule the skies and countless Craneflies rise from the grass as you walk along.

    Mating pairs can be seen everywhere while egg full females can be seen worming their way down into the grass to lay what will become tasty leather-jackets that the Starlings so love!

    This Grey Dagger cat was…

    • 1 Oct 2012
  • You've been tagged!

    With all these juvenile Marsh Harriers moving through the reserve in recent weeks I have been asking people to look out for birds with coloured wing tags.  Even on Wednesday when the two birds were dancing outside the hide, I suggested that it was worth checking for tags and what should happen Thursday but a new juvenile (with the other two!) sporting bright green bling on each wing. Despite coming very close to the centre…

    • 29 Sep 2012
  • New skyline addition...

    All of a sudden yesterday a huge tower appeared on the south side of the Thames near Earith Yacht Club. Within two hours we had a new sparkly enormous wind turbine imposing itself on the view. It seems to be set back from the river so hopefully no issues will ensue...


    • 28 Sep 2012
  • Wildlife Explorers Club taster day...

    Our newly reformed WEx club starts again in October and as such there will be a taster day this Saturday (29th) from 11am to 3pm.  This free event will give you the chance to do some pond dipping and bug hunting as well as making apple bird feeders! 

    It is open to 8 - 12 year olds and parents are welcome to stay.  No need to book.  Just turn up!


    • 27 Sep 2012
  • Big skies again

    Yesterday was tempestuous once again with huge anvil storm clouds brewing across the river to the south and rain driving in from the east.  It did not last all day and the sun made a concerted effort to push on through. Bird wise there was another Arctic Skua on the river and two Pectoral Sandpipers were seen briefly along with five Ruff and a variety of other waders.

    They were not seen today but there was evidence of…

    • 27 Sep 2012
  • Miss Kes on the hunt for a proper meal...

    I took Henry and his friends around the reserve the other Sunday for his birthday and as a grand finale our tame Kes put on a magnificent show.  Ten days later she is still with us and the swollen left leg seems to be getting better....

    Both pictures by Henry Wyn-Jones


    • 26 Sep 2012
  • Stock Take

    Just a quick heads up that the shop at Rainham will be closed until 2pm tomorrow (26th September) for its stock take.  Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

    • 25 Sep 2012
  • Not just birds...

    The huge skies of Rainham Marshes are home to other magical things other than bird, insects and the occasional impressive old plane...

    On the 8th September I captured these two almost perfectly triangular clouds as they appeared to be hovering in some sort of alien invasion holding pattern over the reserve. Most peculiar. If you look closely you can see ice crystal blowing out beneath the tip of the right hand 'craft…

    • 25 Sep 2012
  • No words required....

    Barry Jackson got real lucky with our Kingfishers on Friday afternoon and with a bit of patience got this fantastic shot...


    • 25 Sep 2012
  • Gloom after the storm

    Yesterday was a foul, wet windy day with a howling easterly coming straight up river. However, despite the crowd of avid river watchers yesterday that had nowt for all their troubles bar a couple Common and Arctic Terns. Today our luck changed and in the early morning gloom and drizzle a juvenile Sabine's Gull bounced into view.  it is still present as I type, delicately picking morsels from the surface much in the…

    • 24 Sep 2012
  • And.... action!

    Our Kingfishers have been showing very well on the Mardyke in recent weeks and are best looked for from the small pedestrian bridge accessed off of our driveway or from the road bridge before you turn in. Mark has got some good video now and I suspect that there will be more pictures to follow of these enigmatic little birds. At least four are using this stretch along with a similar number of Grey Wagtails.


    • 22 Sep 2012
  • Autumn fayre

    Berries abound at this time of year but be aware that although the birds, animals and bugs may feast on them, some are distinctly on the inedible or outright poisonous side for us humans!


    Deadly Nightshade... there is a clue in the name!




    White Bryony

    All images by me...


    • 22 Sep 2012
  • Crake times this weekend

    No, not the times at which it will actually show but the hours of opening....

    On both Saturday and Sunday we shall open at 0600. Entry will be via the main carpark this weekend so please park as neatly and as considerately as possible so that we can get everyone in.

    Closing will be at the normal time of 1700 on both days.

    Good luck!



    Some Jerry Hoare video from the 20th


    • 21 Sep 2012
  • Friday 21st Crake Action

    Just a quick heads up that we shall be keeping the reserve open until dark on Friday. Not sure about the weekend yet but shall keep you all posted.

    And to keep you tantalized here are some more shots of Baillon's Crake from the last few days....

    (Priscille Preston)


    • 20 Sep 2012
  • Ratty Unpeturbed

    Today was a good day for a Wednesday Walk with clear blue autumnal skies, a light breeze and the prospect of showing our new Site Manager, Andrew around the reserve with my usual weekly crew. With westerlies still in predominance it was unsurprising that little was on the move with just a handful of Meadow Pipits and Swallows heading south. The male and juvenile Marsh Harriers were both see and Shrill, Brown Banded and…

    • 20 Sep 2012
  • 'Excuse me but what's this?'

    Annie was a little disappointed at missing out on the Privet Hawkmoth Caterpillar on Sunday especially as caterpillars rank a close second to her other main invertebrate love... So when a lady came into the shop today and said that she had found some horrible beast in her garden and had considered squishing it before thinking ... 'Ooooo! I could ask those nice people at the RSPB what it is!'; she was ever so slightly…

    • 20 Sep 2012
  • Sunset magic

    Doing all these late evenings has afforded me the opportunity of witnessing some cracking sunsets as Sol dips below the heart of the capital...


    • 19 Sep 2012
  • There are furries everywhere!

    If you wander the trails at the moment you will find many pretty, stripy caterpillars in the phragmites and on the boardwalk.  These are the offspring of the scarce Reed Dagger moth which is in fact very dull and not exactly inspiring to look at!

    However there are in important food source to migrant birds and late juvenile Cuckoos are particularly enamoured of them despite the hairs!


    and here is a Cuckoo eating…

    • 18 Sep 2012
  • It is still here!

    Our little Baillon's Crake has made it into his second week with ease and is still attracting a steady stream of hopefuls... This morning it has shown well several times and I reckon that the majority of our regular visitors, volunteers and staff have seen it now (apart from our unlucky wardens who have both been away and are now in Scotland for most of the week!). There is more room in the hide now that things have…

    • 18 Sep 2012
  • Privet Hedges are not just a for Sparras!

    A visitor found the splendid Privet Hawkmoth cat this afternoon in he wildlife garden. Not overly huge but impressive nonetheless and a first for me. The adult moth is HUGE! We have quite a lot of privet around the garden and car park so it has probably not strayed too far.


    • 16 Sep 2012
  • Sunday early morning

    Five o'clock saw many birders arriving for a last early chance to catch up with the elusive Ballion's Crake. They were rewarded with amazing views for over 15 minutes as it preened before coming out of roost to feed in the gathering first light. The Marsh Harrier was quartering the marsh and both Bar and Black-tailed Godwits and a Little Ringed Plover have been seen while down on the gate I managed almost constant…

    • 16 Sep 2012
  • Another glorious day...

    Another early start saw the first Crakers outside the gates at 0400 and by 0500 the day was underway and my team were on their way down to open up the Butts Hide. There was a good early rush with many appreciative birders from all over country heading down in the crisp morning air. At 0610 the early wait was rewarded and our stripy friend came out and performed admirably for over ten minutes over eth course of the next…

    • 15 Sep 2012
  • Weekend Access for Ardent Crake Watchers

    Afternoon all... just a reminder about access arrangements for this impending weekend. I will be opening up at 0500 to allow early birders down to the Butts Hide and then remaining open until dark This will be the same for both days.

    Today's Baillon's Crake sightings have been somewhat sporadic with our first no show in the morning but I suspect that it was down to the strong winds today.  It did eventually give…

    • 15 Sep 2012
  • A visitors view of Rainham Marshes....Birds I've Seen

    Rob Coyle's take on a day out at Rainham Marshes....  Enjoy!



    • 14 Sep 2012
  • HMS Ocean returns

    On Wednesday the mighty aircraft / copter carrier the HMS Ocean glided out or the river with its entourage of tugs and SBS boats. A wonderful sight that everyone rush out to see and even better when standing on top of the visitors centre roof!


    • 14 Sep 2012