• Funny happenings with The Shard

    It has been agood week for window watching from the centre with daily wader and wildfowl action over the marsh with clouds of swirling Starlings too, as they club together to avoid the attentions of the Marsh Harriers, Peregrines and Sparrowhawks. As ever the view changes by the hour with the panoramic landscape changing by the hour as weather fronts, cloud, rain and sunshine blow through. The vista comes and goes and…

    • 31 Jan 2014
  • Snack alternative

    This time of year we often see the Mute Swans grazing on the reedmace in the perimeter ditch. They delicately pull the heads down and pull out clumps of seed before dunking them in the water to make them more paletable.

    Some great shots by the lads...

    (Lawrence Rogers)

    (Tony Orwell)


    • 31 Jan 2014
  • 'I love the smell of Lenor in the morning....'

    Breath it in... an easterly is here... and the waft from the Thameside production plants to the east of the bridge is reaching the reserve. It is gloomy, overcast and wet and we are hoping that the first immigrants from the much colder continent will be on their way very soon.

    And so for a quick little update as we have been blogless since Saturday to take pressure of off our website for the duration of the Big Garden…
    • 30 Jan 2014
  • Swirling

    With an increase in Starling numbers in the last week it is not surprising that we have had some more mini murmurations over the landfill.

    Bill Crooks got a good sequence the other day as they strove to avoid the attentions of the female Sparrowhawk...

    If we get a proper cold spell hopefuly we shall get a few more scenes like this!


    • 24 Jan 2014
  • Frosty Fog

    On Tuesday Terry Robinson headed out to open up and much to his own surprise managed to take some wonderful shots that captured the essence of the marshes on such a day.  He is pretty sure that I will not publish these so....


    • 23 Jan 2014
  • Posing troglodyte!

    Wrens are hyperactive little birds and I suspect that they are doing ok in the unseasonally mild winter that we are experiencing.

    This little chap clung on to this phragmites stem for long enough to allow Bill Crooks to take a series of lovely portraits of one of our most familiar birds...


    • 23 Jan 2014
  • Art in the Purfleet Hide: Dawn Cowan


    During the course of the year a wide variety of artists will be exhibiting their work in the Purfleet Hide. Why come on down to see the wealth of talent we have on our doorstep? And you never know, you may find that something takes your eye!

    Come and have a look at Dawn's amazing paintings (all will be on sale if something catches your eye!) from 25 January until 9 February!

    • 22 Jan 2014
  • Will we get to see some Sky Dancing?

    This what the magnificent display of the male Marsh Harrier is called and wouldn't it be great to see him on a fine spring morning way up in the blue making weird almost Lapwing-like yapping sounds as he exaggerates his flapping, then drops, stalls, bounces back up again and repeats the process.

    From the photos from yesterday it would appear that the two adult females have been getting a little territorial with each…

    • 22 Jan 2014
  • More sunshine through the fog...

    It is another lovely day now that the fog has lifted and with no breeze it looks set fair for a Turner Sunset later on.

    Last night....

    Marsh Harriers showed well yesterday and two females have been sparring out over Wennington today so our hopes of some springtime Harrier action are still on course.

    Both Buzzard and a high flying ringtail Hen Harrier drifted through yesteday and David Morrison even got a shot of the…

    • 21 Jan 2014
  • Fussy Feeders

    On Wednesday I put out some apples on the fence below the centre for the birds. I was in a bit of a rush and simply pushed them on..... Friday lunchtime and not one had been touched so I asked David K to pop down with a knife and slice the top off each one to see if it made a difference. He had barely been back in the building when the Starlings descended and began scoffing with abandon! 

    Next thing  you know they will…

    • 18 Jan 2014
  • Gulls, Geese and Galoshes....

    Another 12 hours of rain and the waters have gone up again.... Still wellies I'm afraid!

    A single Brent Goose on the river was a good start and Andy Tweed has seen six Caspian Gulls on the floods on Wennington just alongside the cycle path. The pair of Marsh Harriers have been cruising around and the Peregrine has been spooking everything.

    The rain was replaced by sunshine and now the rain clouds from the south…

    • 17 Jan 2014
  • Flying Feathers - a poetry collection

    Afternoon all,

    How are you today?

    I just wanted to let you know about a lovely collection of poetry...

    David Jackson has donated a few copies of his lastest publication - a collection of 27 poems all about birds!

    David has donated 10 copies - with the money raised  to come to us here at Rainham!

    David loves watching the birds, which inspires him to write the poems - which he does for fun. David is ina nursing home…

    • 16 Jan 2014
  • Tell us if you find them!

    It would appear that the bulk of the 500 strong wintering flock of Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits had left our bit of the Thames for the time being. As a rule we are only seeing the odd small group such as those photographed by Bill Crooks on Monday.

    They have not been roosting on the Concrete Barges and Dave Mo has not found them at any of the other traditional local high tide roosts. So if you do see a flock please…

    • 16 Jan 2014
  • Get ready for the Big Garden Birdwatch!

    The RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch is back! We need you to count the wildlife that's counting on you...

    Get ready to tell us who's at home in your patch, in the world's largest wildlife survey.Bird populations are a great indicator of the health of the countryside. That's why it's so important to take part in surveys like the Big Garden Birdwatch to keep an eye on the ups and downs of the wildlife where we live…

    • 16 Jan 2014
  • Back again!

    John Daly refound his own Black Redstart out at Coldharbour Point on Tuesday. From the pics it looks like it is coming down to the foreshore so may be worth a look if the weather improves again!

    Great stuff.. wonder if we shall ever be able to read the ring  number?


    • 16 Jan 2014
  • A walk on the wetside

    On Monday I had a day off so I had spent my day.... at Rainham... Well, I have not been out on the reserve in weeks so it was a good opportunity to get myself reacquainted with the marsh. I had a great slosh round and collected a good few much needed year ticks and enjoyed the solitude.

    Redwings called in the woodland and 14 Cetti's Warblers sang along the path while a foolhardy Chiffchaff was singing from the last willow…

    • 16 Jan 2014
  • Silent Witness.. an update 2

    Hello hello everyone,

    How are you today?


    It's a glorious day outside, I hope you are enjoying it.

    As I've mentioned a few times *ahem* the Silent Witness episodes were shown last week. The reserve was featured heavily as a crime scene during the episodes. If you missed out you can catch up on the BBC iPlayer here -

    Coup de Grace part 1

    Coup de Grace part 2


     Well, I saw Howard's update the other day, and…

    • 14 Jan 2014
  • An Inspiration

    Funnily enough, my actual highlight from yesterday was non-avian in origin.

    I spied a couple of visitors and thought mmm... I know that gentleman. The penny dropped and I realised that it was Peter Holden who headed up the Young Ornithologists Club way back in the day when I was first entering the wondrous world of the RSPB and birds. 

    I was talking to a friend this evening about what Peter meant to us kids back in the…

    • 13 Jan 2014
  • Sunshine, birds, water, people....

    The sun shone nearly all day and people came out en masse for a a paddle in the puddles. It was good to see the Bexley and Lincoln RSPB Members Groups on site and funnily enough the easiest way to tell them apart was the latters enthusiasm for the flocks of Ring-necked parakeets heading south across the river in the evening!

    The day started well for me with a Great White Egret heading south a little after dawn and three…

    • 13 Jan 2014
  • Silent Witness... an update

    It is amazing the amount of people traffic we have had so far this weekend who encountered the reserve on Silent Witness on Thursday and Friday! Some did not know that we were used a a prime location and were somewhat surprised to recognise the views with the centre in the back ground or our special bit of the Thames or in Terry R's case a view of his beloved 'Half Way Toilets'....

    He even sent me a screen…

    • 12 Jan 2014
  • A new view...Rainham Ridge...

    Veolia have now finished the loop path up onto the eastern edge of the landfill site and the path is now accessible.  The Motley Crew and associated Vagrants investigated yesterday and have already named it Rainham Ridge...

    The path is reached by either turning left or right along the tarmac path at the end of the river wall and then crossing the road via one of the gates. Please watch out for traffic here as crossing…

    • 12 Jan 2014
  • A Cold Crisp Start

    What a glorious start to the day....  thick frost, no wind, red sky, singing thrushes and a Great White Egret that flew through the carpark of off over the Thames towards Dartford Marsh at 7.30...

    Trails are still waterlogged and Wellies are essential if you wish to complete a full circuit with dry feet but it feels like it will be a good day out on the reserve. The Lapwings are already being spooked by the Marsh Har…

    • 12 Jan 2014
  • Arty Shots in the Sun

    I took these yesterday morning in my ten minutes out on the trail.  The reflections were especially nice....


    • 11 Jan 2014
  • Kids Birdwatching Club cancelled tomorrow

    Sorry folks but unfortunately I will not be able to take the KBC out tomorrow (sat 11th) but still feel free to come on down for a walk.... mind you... forget your Wellies and you will not be able to do a circuit! The Dragonfly pool boardwalk is largely submerged and the new toilets have become a little island! Lots of birds to see even if I cannot come out to show you... With any luck I may have found the White-fronted…
    • 10 Jan 2014
  • Monthly Summary December 2013

    Two White-fronted Geese arrived on the 5th and stayed into the New Year while a flock of 11 that flew west on the 24th did not stop despite the perfect marsh conditions. Mild, wet weather precluded any other interesting arrivals and numbers of duck and waders only slowly increased with Teal and Wigeon reaching about 1200 and 700 respectively and Lapwing to about 1400 by year end. Golden Plover umbers fluctuated up to…

    • 10 Jan 2014