• Could they be the first to breed?

    The pair of Common Terns are still holding territory on the small island in front of the Butts Hide. The male has been seen taking her fish as offerings of love and he has been defending his patch from marauding Herons and gulls.....

    Great action shots from Bob Cooper....

    27-5-14

    • 27 May 2014
  • Mixed Bag

    Sunshine, rain, wind and cloud.....  we had a bit of everything this Bank Holiday at Rainham..... However, it sounds like Pat Hart had a good walk in the sun yesterday and Hobbies were putting on a show as more dragonflies take to the wing.

    as seen in this awesome shot by Marianne Taylor

    Marsh Harriers continue to be seen and I wish we knew what this couple are actually up to out there. Meanwhile Redshank and Lapwing…

    • 27 May 2014
  • Sponsored Ride for the RSPB

    Stephen Roberts has been ably assisting at RSPB Rainham Marshes for a couple of years now, cycling in so that he can open up the hides on the trail for us. Now he is going to be cycling just a little bit further in taking on the 120 mile Dunwich Dynamo cycle ride from London Fields in deepest Hackney to the beach at Dunwich on the Suffolk coast, overlooking the magnificent landscape that is RSPB Minsmere.

    All this happens…

    • 23 May 2014
  • Another blinged bird! What is going on?

    A pair of Blue Tits are nesting in the handrail right next to the Purfleet Hide and have been feeding young for some time.  I have been sent a few images but never twigged that one of the birds is actually sporting a nice little BTO ring (just like that Blackcap and Reed Warbler) until Seren Waite showed me her photos yesterday.

    Dawn Cowan got some crackers and I am hopeful that we may even be able to read some of the…

    • 23 May 2014
  • Wondrous wings....

    I like flies (amongst other things)... Phil and Mel Collins have been 'cultivating' some stunning little Picture Wing Flies called Urophora cardui that lay their eggs in the stem on Creeping Thistle which then develop into a swelling on the stem that you can see around the reserve. Seeing the adults ia another matter so being able to get up close to this dapper little fly today was a real treat....

    And…

    • 22 May 2014
  • Bird Seed Offer starts today!

    New shop bird food offer!!.... on till the 3rd June.... oh and excludes 12.75kg bags of Premium Peanuts, High Energy Sprinkles and Buggy Nibbles

    21-5-14

    • 21 May 2014
  • The proof of the pudding....

    Part two of the Bradley's afternoon in the Butts Hide yesterday was encountering a pair of Redshanks chaperoning their three young across the water, up the Mantlet Bank before wisely changing their mind and taking them back to the safety of inside the fence line...

    That we are seeing so many young is testament to the hard work by the team in maintaining the fence line integrity and doing regular night patrols with…

    • 21 May 2014
  • Finest bib and tucker

    Bob Bradley (and his wife- sorry did not catch your name!) were treated to a fine male Ruff outside the Butts Hide this afternoon. Birds in this plumage at Rainham are rare and you can clearly see that when the feathers are up he would be a fine black male with his contrasting cream head.

    Here he is in the company of a Black-headed Gull and a male Tufted Duck and a Pochard on one of the little islands. 

    Interestingly…

    • 21 May 2014
  • Late Night Opening....apologies

    Just a quick note to apologise to the people that I told yesterday about Late Night Opening this Wednesday..... my mistake..... got my dates muddled and hope to arrange one for one night next week....

    Watch this space.....

    20-5-14

    • 20 May 2014
  • Soundscape

    The marsh is full of birdsong as the early breeders all start up again to secure a second brood and those who have only been here a few weeks are still proclaiming and defending territories from late arrivals and jealous neighbours.

    Blackcap, Reed Bunting and Sedge Warbler --- a great trio from Michael Frankling

    And all the while the female Cuckoos are patrolling the marsh and woodland looking for a suitable victim…

    • 20 May 2014
  • Bill & Grace

    Two legends in one day....

    The most amazing Grace, still going strong at touching 105 and the urban poet that is Billy Bragg having a hug in the cafe this morning.....

    Funny old world.....

    19-5-14

    • 19 May 2014
  • Dawn has arrived....

    So here I am... sitting outside with a cup of tea at 0409 with Pip bats and moths zooming roubd in the warm balmy air while dawn chorus erupts around me. The walk has gone out but I have the sounds of waking birdlife all around. Sedge and Cetti's warblers were already on the go when I arrived and Skylarks were soon singing up high. Blackbird, Robin, Song Thrush have now joined in along with the vociferous Marsh frogs…

    • 18 May 2014
  • Where did she get that bling?

    We have several pairs of Blackcaps nesting in the wooded areas of the reserve and we have all been lucky enough in recent days to see one of the Cordite families fledge their young and feed them in the undergrowth.

    Steve Edwards got some lovely 'family moment' images the other day and whilst looking back at them I noticed that the female has got a small leg iron. Where she got ringed is anyones guess but with a Reed…

    • 17 May 2014
  • Dawn Chorus... enjoy the morning wake up from another of our reserves!

    There are still places on our Dawn Chorus walk at 4am on Sunday morning so please give us a ring on 01708 899850 if you would like to book...

    My friend Jerry Hoare phoned me this morning and said.... 'I think I might have found a Great Reed Warbler at RSPB Walberswick'.  We now call this RSPB Dingle Marshes

    He had never heard one before and then played it down the phone to me... spot on....

    And here is a picture…

    • 17 May 2014
  • Beardies

    The Bearded Tits seem to still be feeding in the same general area towards the west end of the Northern Trail and yet a fledged brood was seen last week about half way up. With birds still by the Dragonfly Pool and now out on Wennington, it actually looks like we may have four pair nesting on the marsh this year which is great news and is certainly the best count ever.

    Magnificent shots by Cliff Watkinson......

    • 16 May 2014
  • A record year

    Will keep back the totals till the end of the season but suffice to say it has already been a record breaking year for both Redshank and Lapwing nests on the marsh.  There are chicks everywhere and hopefully many will survive the rigours of their early weeks to fledge successfully.

    Lapwing nest on an anthill (Andrew Gouldstone).  These are a favourite place for the Lapwings to breed as the extra height offer protection…

    • 16 May 2014
  • Food on the wing

    With more dragonflies emerging and a calm weather it is not surprising that we have seen the Hobbies again.  The first Broad Bodied Chasers joined the Hairy Hawkers this morning and the woodland was alive with damselflies.

    Fabulous shots from the other day by Tony Orwell (top two) and John Daly (above)

    15-5-14

     

    • 16 May 2014
  • Got my eyes on you....

    I had a great amble before work this morning in the warm sunshine and not a breath of wind. There was no sign of the Spotted Flycatchers but the Cuckoo was doing his stuff and a female was responding with her bubbling call.

    Cuckoo (Duncan Eames)

    Cuckoo (sorry... can't remember who took this!)

    There was lots of warbler action and Blackcaps were still feeding young.

    However, my favourites were the two female…

    • 15 May 2014
  • Back from Africa

    Always one of the last to arrive in the UK for the summer, the Spotted Flycatcher has undergone a huge population drop and they are now a very scarce breeder in our area with only one or two pairs to be found.

    When I were a lad they use to nest in all the urban parks from East Ham, Ilford, Wanstead and Barking and could often be found nesting in gardens with enough cover to host a pair. 

    I have vivid memories of a pair…

    • 14 May 2014
  • All gone...phew

    It would appear that our Kingfisher family has fledged.  The female had been missing for ten days and the male was still frantically feeding the chicks. A bit of research suggested that she may well be sitting on a second clutch somewhere while he finishes off the first brood before heading off to join her so we were keeping our fingers crossed that all was well and that she had not fallen to a predator.

    On Saturday morning…

    • 14 May 2014
  • A little push of waders....

    A nice little flock of waders out on the river this morning before the tide pushed them all up onto the Target Pools including 11 Sanderling, 26 Dunlin, 11 Ringed Plover and a Whimbrel. It is high tide now so it will interesting to see if anything comes back out when the tide drops that we did not see come in through the wind and rainy squalls.... John Ferguson got some great Sanderling shots....

    11-5-14

    • 11 May 2014