• My! What interesting foliage!

    We have been putting out all kinds of stuff for the birds in the last few weeks including bits of bacon, cheese, raisins and apples.  Now the Magpies and Carrion Crows will eat almost anything but when it comes to cheese and bacon they like to take it away and bury it for future use should the weather turn bad again. 

    Given the fact that with all the apple seeds out there, the likelihood of some new trees is almost a given…

    • 31 Jan 2013
  • Snow time for Ron

    Ron Weasel was caught out in the snow last week and Andy Curtis got some great shots as he poked his head through the snow at the edge of the boardwalk before peering out for a quick look around and then re-appearing with his vole supper. Still one of my favourite characters on the marsh...

    Pop goes the weasel....

    Coast is clear...

    Grab dinner and make a dash for it....!

    30-1-13

    • 30 Jan 2013
  • Not just for frushes

    All those apples that I have been putting out for the Fieldfares and Blackbirds have also attracted the local Blue Tits and they seem to like having a peck at the ones that I poked up in the hawthorns and roses.  How many did you see in your garden for the Big Garden Birdwatch?

    Fieldfare... looking fed up with hips! (Mark Vale)

    'This is my apple so b****r off and find yer own!' (Dave McGough) 

    Many people…

    • 29 Jan 2013
  • Magic...

    Simply enjoy this picture.  I love the elegance of the pied winged Black-tailed Godwits, the two zipping Teal and the blurry birder in the foreground also taking in the moment. A very pleasing shot from Dave McGough...

    • 28 Jan 2013
  • Snipe help...

    With the cold weather forcing both Jack and Common Snipe down onto the foreshore I though that I would put together a little ID sheet for the two in flight.  Good luck!

    28-1-13

    • 28 Jan 2013
  • Opportunist

    Brown Rats are successful because they adapt. Cold weather just causes them to work harder for their food and climbing up a thorny dog rose to get at some big succulent hips before the Fieldfares get them all is perfectly natural.  Andy Tweed found this one last week happily munching in the same bushes as the aforementioned Fieldfares. It was quite unconcerned that it may have been an easy target but given its size I doubt…

    • 27 Jan 2013
  • Careless Mipit

    Our Kes is certainly very good at catching small rodents on insects but she was caught with a Meadow Pipit last week and happily devoured it while her admirers looked on. Even though she has already eaten the head, you can tell that it is a Meadow Pipit by the white tail edges, pinky legs and very long hind claws.  Even they get eaten!

    Chewy bits...mmmmm (Dave McGough)

    Going down (Dave McGough)

    Almost gone.…

    • 26 Jan 2013
  • Bobbers caught on camera

    Normally Jack Snipe are either only seen flying up and away from your as you nearly tread on one or else they become very showy and sit there and bob at you for hours on end.... However, our riverside birds are often providing excellent flight views and just like Elaine at the weekend, Russ Sherriff has managed to get some great shots of the enigmatic species. I think I shall do an ID comparison with Common Snipe some…

    • 25 Jan 2013
  • Big Garden Birdwatch is here!

    That magic weekend of garden birding is upon us once again and it time for you all to get out and stock up before the big event to entice the birds down to your garden.

    There is still time to pop down and visit our shop!!!!

    Click here for loads more details on how to take part and become one of the thousands of people who make this one of the biggest and most important surveys of its kind....

    Who knows what you may…

    • 25 Jan 2013
  • Slavonian Grebe Video

    Sorry, me again!  Getting late but Jerry has obviously been working on his footage of the Slavonian Grebe today although it refused to look up despite the fact that it was clearly awake!!!

    www.youtube.com/watch

    24-1-13

    • 25 Jan 2013
  • Other stuff from today.....

    A very good wader selection today, albeit wit most of them being along the Kentish side of the River for most of the day.  However, we did count, 900 Dunlin, Knot, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 22 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Curlew, 12 Ringed Plover, 18 Grey Plover, 120 Golden Plover, 200 Lapwing, 70 Redshank and the silvery Spotted Redshank. some of the godwits were also on our side alongwith about 40 Snipe and two Jack Snipe.

    • 25 Jan 2013
  • Gorgeous Grebe

    I was a very happy bunny this morning when Jim radioed in to say that he had found a Slavonian Grebe in Aveley Bay. This bird had first been seen at Rainham last Wednesday, down at the Barges but we were unaware at the  time. it was then refound on Saturday at Littlebrook on the other side of the river so it was very pleasing to nab it back today!

    A quick dash along the river wall and there it was. It spent most of the…

    • 25 Jan 2013
  • Snow report...23rd January

    Quite a bit of thaw so no problems with access today and we shall be staying open till 1630 as normal.  Still cold though but visibility is good and I have put out lots of apples and raisins for the hungry Fieldfares and Blackbirds.

    Fieldfare (Louise Moss)

    23-1-13

    • 23 Jan 2013
  • Fieldfares in trouble

    The Fieldfares nearest the centre yesterday morning was really struggling to find food.  They have stripped the majority of the remaining rosehips and have been rooting around in the snow for anything edible. 

    I put out some apples this morning and hopefully these will tide some of them over.  Many were just shuffling around with wings drooped and feathers fluffed while other were simply tucking their heads in and having…

    • 23 Jan 2013
  • Somewhere different...

    Had an absolutely fabulous day out at RSPB Dungeness yesterday. In 25 years of visiting Dunge (as us birders affectionately call the area) I have never seen in the snow. An even more alien but very beautiful landscape and the birding was somewhat rewarding... 

    We saw a huge Glaucous Gull on the beach, Gannets plunging so close you could hear them calling, 1000's of auks and many divers and Kittiwakes on the sea.

    • 22 Jan 2013
  • Snow update.... Closing at 3pm

    Morning all ... just a quick note to let you know that we have largely cleared our entrance raod and are now open for business today as normal.  However, we shall close early today at 3pm so that we can all escape before dark!

    There were over 300 Fieldfare around yesterday and the Corn Buntings were once again on the foreshore.

    Corn Bunts (Priscilla Macpherson)

    22-1-13

    • 22 Jan 2013
  • Snow birds

    Despite the almost continuous snowfall only a few inches covered the marsh yesterday but it was enough to make the reserve look spectacular and made even more of draw for our small birds to the centre feeders...

    Starlings, Collared Doves, House Sparrows, Chaffinches, Greefinches, Goldfinches and Reed Buntings

    At one stage there were six Robins outside the shop as well as Mr P calling for his breakfast!

    Reed …

    • 21 Jan 2013
  • Snow Update...

    Still snowing very heavily here.  We are still open but will start closing up at around 2pm with an escape trajectory of 3pm....

    Take it easy at out there...

    Dunnock (Dawn Cowan)

    20-1-13

    • 20 Jan 2013
  • Spoke too soon... again...

    Snowing very heavily now but we are still going to open at the moment..... watch this space...

    20-1-13

    • 20 Jan 2013
  • Elaine's Pipits....

    Elaine took some atmospheric shots whilst out with me yesterday.  Think she had a good pipit learning curve!

    Meadow Pipit

    Rock Pipit

    oh and a Reed bunting for good measure....

    20-1-13

    • 20 Jan 2013
  • All open at RSPB Rainham Marshes...

    What little snow we had has largely gone and the entrance road and car park are ok and not too slippy so hope to see you later on!

    20-1-13

    • 20 Jan 2013
  • Uuummm.. it's that foreshore again

    I make no apologies for the fact that the best place to look for birds when the reserve is almost frozen solid is the intertidal zone down on the seaweedy, muddy, rubbish strewn saltmarsh that sits between high and low water.

    Today was no exception and I took the huge Kids Birdwatching Club group down there for a look.  Well actually it was Brandon and his dad and we picked up Elaine whilst down there.  The birding was…

    • 20 Jan 2013
  • Meanwhile...

    Back on the foreshore is where all the small bird action is to be had and depite the persistant but pathetic attempts at snow that we saw yesterday, there were still some great opportunitiies to get close to the pipits, buntings and larks down there.

    Two quite different looking Rock Pipits

    And two shuffling Skylarks....

    The four Corn Buntings were still present yesteday but were less photogenic and a small…

    • 19 Jan 2013
  • Yes we are open today....

    And just in case you were wondering.... Yes we will open today.  There is less than half inch of snow on the ground here.  Will definitely be a cold one though so please wrap up!

    19-1-13

    • 19 Jan 2013
  • Skating on thin ice...

    Mr Fox in his red fluffy refinery was out on the ice the other day and Fred Roll got a great shop of him tiptoeing across the surface slightly trepidatiously! 

    While Barry Jackson snapped another one up on the river wall...

    19-1-13

    • 19 Jan 2013