• Let the pictures talk....

    Our Little Grebes are on their second broods at least at the moment and at least two of these broods are allowing a close approach and are posing for photos with their new famlies.

    (Basil Thornton)


    • 30 Jun 2013
  • Hard work but success at last

    There have been several sightings of Red Kite over the reserve over the last few months including last weekend but none of us had caught up with one till about half hour ago when a call from Nicole on eth radio had us scampering for our bins and cameras as it flew over the woodland and then down the Mar Dyke and across the Thames.

    Quite tatty and looking like an immature bird but very welcome none the less.

    Six Continental…

    • 28 Jun 2013
  • A home at every turn...

    There are baby birds everywhere from Starlings, Sparrows and Greenfinches around the feeders, mixed tit flocks in the woodland, waders and wildfowl out on the pools, Sedge and Reed Warblers in the phragmites and bobby Pied Wagtails bimbling around the car park....

    Where ever you look RSPB Rainham Marshes has provided a safe breeding ground and now a safe(ish) school in which to learn the rigours of the big wide world…

    • 27 Jun 2013
  • A lot of viewers!

    On Monday, Terry asked me for my photo of Canada Tower and the Canary Wharf complex on'fire' in the first rays of an autumn dawn....

    He emailed it to the ITV Newsroom to put up as a back drop on the weather and much to our delight they used it!

    It has taken until now to find proof of this surprising piece of publicity but today they sent us a screenshot of the event!!!!


    • 26 Jun 2013
  • I like it when I am right....

    The second Mute Swan brood hatched on Monday down at the Dragonfly Pool with four healthy young following around their doting parents. One had made itself quite comfortable on Mum's back. Thanks to Clive Watts for the video and images.


    And have just been told that a 2nd pair on Aveley also have two young so three broods all told!


    • 26 Jun 2013
  • Short, fat, hairy ones....

    No not worms but just some of the shapes, sizes and body adornments of the huge variety of caterpillars we have around at the moment.  Half the time the cats are better than the moths!

    The Drinker (Russ Sherriff)

    Still a real youngster but definitely an Emperor (Brenda Clayton)

    The punky Vaporour (Brenda Clayton)

    And a real tiny cat that we reckon on being a Puss Moth although it does not quite match.... (Brenda…

    • 26 Jun 2013
  • Giving Nature a Home... a Rainham Marshes perspective

    I have been with the RSPB at RM for a little over ten years now and have been birding the site since the min-1980s. It has been my privilage to watch how the RSPB have managed, since July 2000, to tinker and tweak this vital green lung for the urban fringe from an unfavourable neglected landscpe back into a semblence of its Medieaval glory.

    It has taken a great deal of effort (and some money) to do it but this year it…

    • 25 Jun 2013
  • Homes come in all shapes and sizes.

    Julie Peeling found this simply stunning Small Tortoiseshell pupae whilst sweep netting with the school kids today. We were all gobsmacked at the sheer golden beauty of this little package of enzymes and DNA. Since it has been displaced from the stem on which it was stuck, Julie will take it home and look after it till it emerges into a stunning adult butterfly.



    • 24 Jun 2013
  • One down... one to go

    It seems like we only have two pair of Mute Swan trying to breed this year on the reserve. The pair that nested in front of the Ken Barrett have still got five young and the pair on the dragonfly pool are still incubating but an arrival must be imminent!

    'Daddy! Daddy! Where's ya head gone!!!!!'  (Betty Woodward)


    • 23 Jun 2013
  • On the wing in double time

    The intense heat and humidity of Wednesday gave our struggling butterflies a chance of Common Blues, Brown Argus and Small Heaths were all seen along the river wall, the former in pretty good numbers.


    Common Blue (Mark Vale)

    female Common Blue (Brenda Clayton)

    Small Heath (Brenda Clayton)

    There were many Holly Blues around the visitor centre and in the wildlife garden and woodland.

    (Brenda Clayton)


    • 23 Jun 2013
  • Eeny meeny miny moe.... I can see an arboreal vole!

    The Water Voles living in our extensive waterways have been really showy in recent weeks with many mini-me youngsters out independently feeding and keeping out of the way of the Grey Herons.

    Water Vole climbimg up the Greater Reedmace. Look at those very human hands with the white claws and big orange teeth! (David Howarth)

    I was a little puzzled by this next image, taken in the woodland on Thursday of another off…

    • 22 Jun 2013
  • Eye, eye.... sorry that should be eye, eye, eye, eye, eye, eye, eye, eye....

    Lots of Jumping Spiders around at the moment as you may have gathered by previous posts. Brenda Clayton got some fabulous shots of this female Salticus scenicus - the Zebra Jumper - the other day.  They have eight reflective eyes and I believe see in colour unlike most spiders. Often they will leap at the camera lens when they see their own reflection.

    At Rainham they find themselves at home in all kinds of places from…

    • 22 Jun 2013
  • Should have waited...

    So there I was typing nice things about sunsets and thinking, 'Be nice to have a bird pic to put on too' but nothing was to hand. 

    A Facebook alert appears and there is a lovely shot of a female Shoveler with four fairly young ducklings, taken last night by Linda Peall.

    It really is turning out to be a fabulous breeding season out on the marsh  which is still looking lush and wet.

    Two Black-tailed Godwits and…

    • 22 Jun 2013
  • It did not rain!

    Last nights Dusk Walk was a great success although the fact that it stayed dry and warm and clear meant that the glow worms refused to start up!

    However, Soprano and Noctule Bats, duelling Cuckoos, belching frogs and a superb sunset were all encountered. Many thanks to Jerry for leading on this one. Great job.

    And the sunset was pretty epic....

    The next two Dusk Walks and Late Night Opening are on:

    • Thursday…
    • 22 Jun 2013
  • Still clucking around

    Mr P has been busy with his ladies for the last few weeks and we have not seen nearly as much of him other than occasional forays to the centre feeders with one of his harem.

    However he was back strutting his stuff this morning!

    Oh and do not forget that we are staying open till dusk tonight!  Hope to see some of you!

    (Les Harrison)


    • 20 Jun 2013
  • Jumping the gun!

    Several Burnet Companion Moths have been seen in the grass along the river wall. They are one of the few day-flying moths, an it gets its English name from the fact that it is often found in company with Burnet moths.... 

    However, only the closely related Cinnabars are on the wing at the moment but I am sure their red and black relatives will not be too far behind.

    (Brenda Clayton)

    Cinnabar (Sue Barry)


    • 20 Jun 2013
  • Diving within minutes!

    Our little brood of Pochards is doing ok and can still be seen in front of the Ken Barrett Hide.

    Clive Watts spent some time with them the other day and got some good shots and footage

    and some video showing how even as fluffy balls weighing nothing they still manage to get themselves under the water!



    • 20 Jun 2013
  • Fence still holding

    More young birds are appearing within the protection of the fence and a brood of four baby Pochard have joined the list .  Be nice to find some scarce dabblers and with Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler and even a female Garganey around, you never know.  Coots are well into second broods and Little Grebes are still popping out in every ditch!

    Coots (Nic Willett)


    • 18 Jun 2013
  • What variety!

    In the last couple of years I have got interested in Hoverflies and given the right views and a good book (the invaluable new Ball and Morris photo guide!) you actually have a chance of identifying some this incredibly varied group of flies at least to family level. So get out there and get looking! They often sit up and allow a close approach so take a camera too!

    Chrysotoxum verralli - a fine Wasp mimic (HTV)

    • 17 Jun 2013
  • Tiny cats

    We found our first Peacock caterpillars at the weekend. They were probably only a day or two old and had mostly changed from fawny brown to spiky black. They have a lot of growing to do but there are a lot of nettles to keep their hunger sated...



    • 17 Jun 2013
  • Trooping

    One of the advantages of having such a huge view at Rainham is that we tend to be able to see any military flypast and yesterday was no exception with a procession of enormous aircraft in the distance followed by a site tick in the shape of the mighty Red Arrows streaming into town for the Trooping of the Colour, trailing red white and blue after them.....

    (Brenda Clayton)


    • 16 Jun 2013
  • Smallest chicks?

    You have to go some to beat a Wren for having the smallest chicks of any British bird.  Jerry found a cluster of them, just out of the nest on Thursday and one lingered long enough for a shot before it headed off into the nettles to resume squeaking for its parents to stuff it full of juicy caterpillars!



    • 16 Jun 2013
  • More waders.... what is going on?

    The Wood Sandpiper and Greenshank were both still present today on Aveley Pool and were joined by a Spotted Redshank. Mid June is definitely early for us to have this trio on the marsh. Perhaps they just decided not to breed this year and headed back south or perhaps they never even got there?

    The KBC saw the male Marsh Harrier again and we were treated to a distant flypast for the Trooping of the Colour but more of…

    • 16 Jun 2013