• Golden Globes

    Marsh Marigold is a wonderful native semi-aquatic plant related to buttercups and it has become established at several points in the ditch system over the last few years and provides a very welcome splash of sunshine yellow in these early days of spring...

    (Tony Houston)


    • 1 Apr 2014
  • Hey Rat Fans!

    Our blackberry eyed silky friends are still frequenting the feeders below the centre and I think I am winning the battle to persuade visitors that they are a) cute, b) a natural part of the reserves fauna and c) not going to leap out and trasmit some lethal disease....

    Cracking shots from Carole Wingrove



    • 31 Mar 2014
  • Young Warden Event...

    Are you 11 to 16 years old?

    Get muddy and have a great time discovering life as an RSPB Warden with hands on, practical conservation work.

    Meet the Rainham Wardens and find out what they do!

    Managing habitats, here at Rainham, is vitally important to ensure our wildlife populations thrive – you’ll be getting a unique opportunity to get really involved in giving nature a home.

    Potential activities include…

    • 29 Mar 2014
  • Captured moment

    Young Seren Waite got some great shots on Wednesday including the Great White Egret from the earlier post. She also took this wonderful shot of a smart female House Sparrow coming into the feeders.  We look forward to her and her camera visting again!


    • 29 Mar 2014
  • Cruising for dinner

    Jerry and Tom got some great views of the female Peregrine as she cruised over yesterday. Tom got some fantastic shots that showed that she definitey has just eaten as she had a very full crop. Meanwhile here are some that he took last week from a similar fly past.

    I reckon she was checking him out for size!

    Very quiet out on the marsh yesterday with no Great White Egret and the Little Ringed Plovers and Marsh Harriers…

    • 28 Mar 2014
  • Huge Golden Ringed Plover

    Little?? Pah!  We have a pair of Little Ringed Plovers floating around at the moment and they seemingly can pop up anywhere. Russ Sherriff got some shots yesterday of the male with his gloriously bright fate yellow eye rings.

    They are very cryptic and can very difficult to see unless they move.  Our Lapwings took exception to our ones when the dropped in on Purfleet SCrape this afternoon and chased them all over the…

    • 27 Mar 2014
  • Kinky neck and black stockings

    The Great White Egret remained until about 1715 and then headed east in the same direction as the Little Egrets which roost in EWT Warren Gorge so I reckon that there is a fair chance that this entertaining bird will be back tomorrow.

    It is amazing how one bird can change the atmosphere around the reserve. GWE's are not even overly rare any more (and have even been breeding down in Somerset on the Avalon Marshes) but…

    • 27 Mar 2014
  • Fisher Kings

     Both the Kingfishers are now regularly around the nest whole and the amount of time she is spending in the hole is suggestive that we may have moved beyond the 'just good friends stage...

    Normally the best way of separating the sexes is by the completely black bill on the male and the red lower mandible of the female.

    Our male is little peculiar in also having a touch of red on his bill but as you can see in these…

    • 26 Mar 2014
  • Great White Wonder

    Got in really early today to help with the stocktake and was delighted when Andrew poked his head out of the office and shouted 'Interesting Egret!'

    Much to my delight a breeding plumaged Great White Egret was wading around at the back of the Winter Pool with his nearly all dark bill and largely yellowy legs. This is the first GWE on the deck here for several years although we have had a few fly throughs.


    • 26 Mar 2014
  • Undisciplined rabble

    Apparently, the collective name for a group of frogs is an Army...

    Well if this is the case than all of our Marsh Frog troops have gone AWOL, been down the pub, had a few bevvies and are now leisurely slumped in an unceremonious heap on a board near the Purfleet Hide....

    (Dawn Cowan)

    (Rachael Webb)


    • 25 Mar 2014
  • Paired up

    Looks like our Kingfisher has got a mate now and she has been seen entering her new spacious living quarters.  Hopefully she will find it to her liking and she will hang around to lay some pearly white eggs...  Watch this space!

    Peek-a-boo... (Barry Jackson)

    Gone Fishing (Nick Smith)


    • 25 Mar 2014
  • Tachina.... it makes me happy....

    Annie found this great fly at work today. Managed some shots with my phone and hope that we are right and it is a Tachinid fly called Gymnocheta viridis.....

    Like a long Greenbottle covered in spiky bristles!

    Anyway... if we are right then it is a new species to the ever growing Rainham Marshe bio-diversity list!


    • 24 Mar 2014
  • Spring is trying hard to push through...

    The first Little Ringed Plovers were seen on Friday and have been seen each day since, mainly between the Purfleet and Bunker Pool scrapes on the new shallow diggings that we created at the start of the winter. Lapwings and Redshank are settling down and we already have several of the former on nests.

    Wheatears have continued to be seen along the river wall since the first on Thursday  with up to six present at times…

    • 24 Mar 2014
  • The tide is turning

    The last few days have seen a sprinkle of spring birds arriving on the marsh including the first Little Ringed Plovers on the new shallow diggings between the Bunker Pools and the Purfleet Scrape, up to six Wheatears along the river wall and favouring the last stretch before the landfill site as well as a smattering of Sand Martins and more singing Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs.

    The Poser (Lawrence Rogers)

    The Sentinal…

    • 24 Mar 2014
  • Reedmace pluckers

    If you head out at the moment you will often see reedmace fluff blowing in the breeze. Now, in the past we might have hoped for a Penduline Tit to be the culprit but we seem to be going through a lull in sightings of this enigmatic species on the reserve.

    Instead, what you will usually find is a smart Reed Bunting busily throwing fluffy seeds all over the show. Interestingly I suspect that you may see a predominance…

    • 21 Mar 2014
  • Bandit chat

    It is always a good day when the first Wheatear of the spring makes an appearance on the reserve. John Daly found this corking male on the foreshore this morning and hopefully he will be a taste of things to come. To think that he has spent the last few weeks heading north from his sub-Saharan wintering grounds, crossed the mighty desert, over flew the Atlas, traversed the Mediterranean, either the Pyrenees or the watery…

    • 20 Mar 2014
  • Buggy Ball Offer!!!

    Offer runs till we have run out of balls!


    • 20 Mar 2014
  • Bring back the sunshine....

    Last week was warm and sunny and Lizards and Marsh Frogs were out and about all around the trails. This week has not been so great but there is still a chance of finding a Lizard out basking. I reckon that the Northern Trail will be your best bet! Good luck!

    Peek-a-boo..... (Lee Spence)


    • 20 Mar 2014
  • Wheezer

    I am pleased to say that we still have several pairs of Greenfinch around the reserve and the males can be heard in their build up to display, wheezing and asking 'whhhhyyyyyyyyy??' before careening off in a madcap butterfly flight over the tree tops...

    Strike a pose...... (Tony Orwell)

    (Bill Crooks)


    • 19 Mar 2014
  • Out for breakfast...

    Tony Houston had great views of one of our Water Voles this morning as it came out for a morning snack.

    This is a great time of year to come and visit to look for them as they venture out to find fresh growth to much!


    • 19 Mar 2014