• Sat Nav Malfunction

    A slightly peculiar way to add Scarab Beetle to the Rainham invert list but only minutes after I had told Bill Stallard about the prowess of Shrikes on Lesvos for catching and impaling the larger beetles on barbed wire fences than Jamie walks in and shows us these two amazing shots of a Scarab with a very terminal case of aeronautical ineptitude....

    I mean, come on, what's the chances?


    • 11 May 2014
  • Windy Wash Out

    What an unfortunate day.....  a succession of driving squalls of rain and hail terrorised the reserve throughout the day bringing with them severely gusting winds that sent leaves flying and Swifts hurtling enthusiastically in all directions.

    Very Swift (Jo Collins)

    There really was very little else to to report although a Greenshank was on the Target Pools and both sets of Bearded Tits were amazingly seen....


    • 11 May 2014
  • Thanks Rebecca!

    Rebecca Dawson came in with her Dad the other day and generously handed over a wonderfully decorated money box into which she had been putting all her pennies and tuppenies. 

    A quick tally up revealed £11.32 which has been added to the RSPB coffers!  Many thanks!


    • 10 May 2014
  • There once was....

    Despite the generally inclement weather, there have been several new arrivals in recent days with our pair of Bearded Tits on the Northern Trail fledging at least two young yesterday. Hopefully the Dragonfly Pool pair will do the same shortly.

    I believe that there are two pair of Mute Swans wit broods now (one of seven and one two) and I have found another nest on the other side of the railway who are still sitting.

    • 9 May 2014
  • In and out....

    He is a busy lad is our Kingfisher..... wonder how many chicks there in that smelly dark tunnel?

    Dad heading out - (Lawrence Rogers)

    Another wonderful video short from Jerry Hoare....


    and one from Clive Watts too... including some slo mo



    • 9 May 2014
  • Bog wood Blogging....

    When we came to create the new Purfleet Scrape we unearthed a huge piece of Neolithic bog wood that had been preserved (not fossilised) in the deep mud. It stood upright for more than a year before being deemed to much of a lookout for the local crows come breeding time so we had it hauled out.

    Now with some considerable effort from Pete and Jamie, I now have this massive lump of history on show just outside the visitors…

    • 9 May 2014
  • A Tangled Bank......a short film by Jerry Hoare

    The smaller inhabitants of the reserve are a favourite of mine.  Jerry Hoare loves his invertebrates too and has created a beautifully crafted short video of the life in a Hawthorn and Bramble clump down near the woodland.....

    I could name all the flies and other critters that take part but it is the long 'nosed' Heiniken Hoverfly Rhingia campestris and the tiny Ant mimic Jumping Spider that made me smile most…

    • 8 May 2014
  • Kingfisher....

    The young Kingfishers are still being well looked after by their dad but it is slightly worrying that we have not seen the female for sure since Thursday (Tom has been keeping a daily diary of comings and goings).

    If something has happened to her then it does not seem to have affected the males diligence in feeding his offspring.

    Having been away for two weeks I have just had the chance to look back through the images…

    • 8 May 2014
  • Back to breezy

    Not the nicest of days today with scudding clouds and a brisk westerly that brought in sharp showers and a drop in temperature. Swifts descended and were zooming around all day while small numbers of Martins and Swallows headed into the wind.

    Just six Whimbrel today and none of the waders seen on Monday afterwork but Reed warblers were clearly audible from the centre and I suspect more have come in while a female Marsh…

    • 8 May 2014
  • Back and blogging

    Back from my hols on the Greek island of Lesvos (birding of course) and in work for one of the busiest Bank Holiday Mondays I can remember.....

    I added three species to my Rainham year list in the first five minutes with Swift, Reed Warbler and Cuckoo before I stopped the car.

    Cuckoo (Jim Willett)

    The rest of the day was a bit of a meet and greet blur but a short walk and a meet up with Paul Hawkins after work gave…

    • 6 May 2014
  • Dawn Chorus walks....

    Do not forget that you can still book your places on the Sunday Dawn Chorus events this month.... just give us a ring on 01708 899840 to see the reserve in a different light, see all the sights and sounds, and enjoy a cooked breakfast!

    We currently still have spaces on the 11 and 18 May events (4am start) - give us a call for more information and to book. Perhaps see you then?


    • 3 May 2014
  • Can't get enough of those kingfishers!

    Well I can't! They are amazing!

    Normally you'd have to be very lucky to catch a quick glimpse of a blue flash as it whizzes past you... but not when they are feeding young!

    Check out this stunning video by Jerry Hoare!

    • 3 May 2014
  • Roll up ... roll up... get your conserves and chutneys 'ere!

    We now have our own organic jams and chutneys in the shop to go with the delicious coffee that arrived a week ago!  They are £3.50 a jar and all proceeds come to the RSPB...

    I have sampled the coffee and the strawberry jam and can confirm that both go well with a good thick slice of toast in the morning!


    • 3 May 2014
  • Song Flights...

    Many of our best songsters like to advertise the fact by performing some sort of display flight from flappy tumbling Lapwings to the scratching bouncy up and down song flight of the male Whitethroat; all have one thing on their mind... to show off to the females and proclaim a territory.

    Skylarks do this with great aplomb from a great height with a far carrying song that descends back to earth...

    The lark arising…

    • 3 May 2014
  • Not all survive

    With so many baby birds appearing over he next couple of weeks it is not surprising that not all manage to make it through to adulthood. There are just so many factors involved and half the battle is getting to the hatching stage.

    We are like expectant mothers here, with so many Lapwings, Redshank and waterfowl (amongst others) sitting on eggs all around us.

    Coots, Moorhens and Little Grebes are everywhere and sometimes…

    • 2 May 2014
  • Nests in funny places

    The last Wren that I posted a nest of was hanging in Ivy against a wall... now we have another one actually in a wall!. Andrew found this one out on the reserve in an old out building. I reckon that this might infact be an old nest as the material is very dry and brown but it certainly shows how well it is made to still be there a year on!

    And any excuse to post a picture of this little bird with the huge lungs! 

    • 1 May 2014