• Graceful

    This is possibly one of my favourite shots I have seen taken on the reserve this year so far....

    A fine shot by Jim Willett

    28-2-14

    • 28 Feb 2014
  • Graffiti Gull

    Not for the first time have we seen a flourescent gull on the reserve. Russ Sherriff snapped this adult Black-headed Gull on last week (21st) down near the Concrete Barges. I am trying to find out whether any of the national gull ringing groups are marking in this way (they used to at Gerrards Cross) and will report back in due course.

    In the meantime if you come across it please let us know.. it is trackable however…

    • 27 Feb 2014
  • A little sunshine

    What a lovely day it has been with near unbroken sunshine (bar a brief squall) and a light breeze. Some of the 140 strong Golden Plover flock are now aquiring the black mottled bellies of summer plumage while several Lapwing have been seen tumbling over the marsh.

    Two Chiffchaffs were in the woodland with one in full song but these are likely to still be over wintering birds rather than newly arrived migrants. The Long…

    • 26 Feb 2014
  • Dirty washing

    Our House Sparrow colony continues to thrive and if they are not around either of the feeder clusters then they are often to be found socialising in the hedge in the middle of the car park where their vociferous chattering is almost constant.

    Clive Watts filmed them having a dust bath amongst the cars on Monday.  Even then they do not keep quiet!

    www.youtube.com/watch

    26-2-14

     

    • 26 Feb 2014
  • Start saving your cobwebs

    Long-tailed Tits are early starters and one pair are already building their delicate nest out of feathers, cobwebs and lichen in a hawthorn in the Cordite. Both birds are helping to build it, so hopefully they have properly bonded and the male is not just building a practice nest.

    Clive Watts has been following their progress...

    It looks insignificant to start with....

    but quickly starts to come together....

    • 25 Feb 2014
  • Scottish accent

    On the 22nd February Bill Haines saw a colour-ringed Cormorant down at the Concrete Barges. It had PBX in green on a white Darvic ring and a bit of sluthing resulted in some amazing facts coming to light.  Many Cormorants in the South East and East Anglia are colour ringed and I would have suspected that this was one of those but no.... it was from much further afield having been rung as a nestling north of Aberdeen at…

    • 25 Feb 2014
  • Uber camo

    On Thursday Jim Archer was holding a Pond Dipping session at the MDZ and caught this amazing Caddis fly larvae. He was so enamoured with it hat he walked it all the back to the centre in a little tank just to show us.

    Many species use sand or tiny pieces of vegetation to create their little cryptic home in which to secrete themselves at the first signs of danger or whenever they rest up. Resembling the world around you…

    • 23 Feb 2014
  • Trails, gulls and plovers...

    Morning all...

    The sun is shining and I suspect that a busy day me be afoot....

    Thankfully the water has started to drop slightly around the reserve. I would still recommend Wellingtons though although you may just get around in high walkers if you are lucky!

    Yesterday was also glorious if somewhat chillier that what folk were expecting but the shimmering Golden Plover flock increased to over 400 and put on a great…

    • 22 Feb 2014
  • Snoozing gull

    The juvenile Iceland Gull was on the boom at the Concrete Barges again this morning (two days on the trot now).  it is a very pale bird and so should stand out if you go and have a look.

    Andy Tweed managed to get a couple of shots of this striking bird

    A bit wet and windy again today but we have had 19 Dark-bellied Brent Geese head across the reserve and then out over the river and back towards the estuary.....

    20…

    • 20 Feb 2014
  • You lucky, lucky.....

    Steve Elwell got real lucky on Sunday morning when this cocky little Cetti's Warbler came right out to feed in the reed edge of the perimter ditch by the playground.

    So great to see one out in the open and so unconcerned by people!

    18-2-14

    • 18 Feb 2014
  • Cleaning crew

    Under the feeders just outside the centre you will often seen two or three robust Brown Rats nipping in and out to pinch a dropped morsel.  One is a particularly chunky boy (and yes you can tell) and has variously been called a Cat, small Otter and a Guinea Pig... and that was just yesteday. They are part of the wildlife of the reserve and have just a as much a part to play as the other mammals that call the marshes home…

    • 17 Feb 2014
  • Ooooo... What, pray tell, is that glowing orb in yonder sky?

    It never ceases to amaze me just how different everyday is here at the reserve.  How such a tumultuous week of weather could end with such a glorious crisp winters day with near unbroken blue sky, a glowing pale sun and a light sou'westerly is beyond me.

    We also went from an average of about 20 people a day to nearly 500 today with many more untilising the publically accessible river wall sections of the reserve with…

    • 17 Feb 2014
  • Lunchtime update

    Reserve is open but the woodland is closed off and the trails are even wetter. Wellies to get round to the Butts hide unless you fancy wet feet. Incredibly windy here. Building shaking and windows wobbling. Spray being whipped off the top of the waves on the Thames and white horses dancing across Purfleet Scrape.
    Mrs Peregrine sitting out on Purfleet has been the highlight so far..... looks like we have more weather to…

    • 15 Feb 2014
  • Never ending

    Will the rain ever stop?  It seems that we get a day of respite followed by a day of howling wind and rain. And after yesterday's glorious (but breezy) weather we are back in the murk with persistent rain and an ever strengthening wind. It has moved to the east today which is good but nothing has so far come in on the high tide bar the usual wader assortment. The Spotted Redshank has unusually made it two days on the trot…

    • 14 Feb 2014
  • Persistent

    Our regular female Sparrowhawk has had to change her tactics in the wind of recent days and rather than just making surprise attacks from over the fence, she has taken to spending time close to the feeders, just perching up and waiting with mini sorties into the heart of the two hawthorns to try and winkle out the terrified but sensible sparrows. I can see her as I type... just sitting there with those ferocious and angry…

    • 12 Feb 2014
  • Windy closures.... 12th February

    Howling here again.... white horses across the river, wind whistling through the roof cones, sparrows and finches swinging back and forth on the feeders, lapwings and starlings very fidgety with the Peregrine and Marsh Harriers already hunting. We have closed the woodland once again so a full circuit is not possible and Wellies are essential!
     
    H ;o)
     
     
    12-2-14

    • 12 Feb 2014
    • 10 Feb 2014
  • Lunchtime

    With at least four Marsh Harriers hunting the reserve, it is not surprising that someone occasionally sees one of them make a kill. On this occasion it is our first-year male and after killing and feasting on his catch, he was forced to move on with it as the local Carrion Crows were becoming a little too bold in their thieving attempts....

    As for what he has.... Like Trevor Oakley (who took these images) I too…

    • 10 Feb 2014
  • Dynamic Dunlin

    With the local Dunlin flock condescending to frequent the marsh even when the tide is out, it has given you visitors the opportunity to become mesmerised by this thousand strong fish ball of swirling, shimmering raptor food. Hopefully all that jinking around will deter our hungry Sparrowhawks and Peregrines...

    I love the skies and urban backdrop in these fine shots by Clive Watts....

    9-2-14

    • 9 Feb 2014
  • Rainham this weekend (weather, paths, and whats on)

    Good morning everyone!

    How are you today?

    I just wanted to tell you a few things about this weekend

    Head over NOW - for a free family pond dipping drop in session! One of our amazing Field Teachers is over at the Marshland Discovery Zone doing some pond dipping between 10 am-12 noon. You don't need to bring anything, just pop over and have fun!

      Reflections by Dawn Cowan

    I just wanted to confirm that we are open…

    • 8 Feb 2014
  • Memories of.....?

    There is nothing quite like the sounds of a Curlew and it evokes memories in anyone who has heard one before. For me it reminds me of a stretch of Red Grouse filled moorland near Scargill in Yorkshire in April 1988 on our way to Scotland for a family holiday with displaying Curlews looking like giant mosquitos or perhaps a flock of summer moutling birds on the Camel Estuary in Cornwall deep in bubbling conversation on…

    • 7 Feb 2014
  • Monthly Summary January 2014

    RSPB Rainham Marshes January Summary

    The two White-fronted Geese lingered till the 6th along with a Barnacle Goose but the generally mild weather precluded much immigration. A Brent Goose was seen on the 17th and the Bittern reappeared on the 24th. Kittiwakes were a feature on the Thames with the first three days of 2014 producing 77 birds with singles on several other dates. An adult Little Gull (30th) and several…

    • 5 Feb 2014
  • Flapping in a puddle

    Wrote this the other day while watching Starlings in the carpark....  thought I would share...

    • 4 Feb 2014