• Echinops Action

    The clumps of Echinops (Globe Thistle) are just coming into bloom around the wildlife garden and are a magnetic draw to almost any insect that can fly or navigate its way to these nectar filled spiky balls of delight. Today there were various bees and butterflies in attendance as well as various wasps and hoverflies....

    However, Lawrence Rogers got some shots of the best thing today with a huge Queen Median Waspthat…

    • 31 Jul 2014
  • Chat Back

    Yesterday a Wheatear was seen briefly by the Giant Ant Hill and I forgot to add it into my report... today it showed very well by the Reedbed DZ and everyone managed to get some great shots of this immaculate juvenile bird. I was suprised that it did not show some signs of real juvenile scaling above or below being this early in the season so I presume that it's parents got going good and proper once on their breeding…

    • 31 Jul 2014
  • Hungry Hawker steals the glory...

    It was not a bad day out on the reserve with a fair selection of waders over the high tide late in the afternoon including 2 Black Tailed Godwits, 2 Avocet , 3 Green Sandpiper, 7 Redshank, 5 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, 4 Oystercatcher, 4 Whimbrel, Ruff and 5 Snipe. Purfleet Scrape seems the best bet although the waters are dropping on Aveley now so fingers crossed. Perhaps we shall get the Collared Pratincole that…

    • 30 Jul 2014
  • It's that time of year again....and we need your help!

    The Ragwort is suddenly blooming across the reserve and as usual we have to remove it from those areas where the cattle feed as it is poisonous to them.

    And before you ask, yes we know that it is a vital foodpalnt for the black and yellow caterpillars of the Cinnabar moth but we leave plenty around the edges, outside the fence to allow us to keep a good population of this great day flying  moth....

    Ragwort and friends…

    • 28 Jul 2014
  • A Grand Night Out

    So, last night was not only a Late Night Opening but it was also our Annual Moth Night.  After squally showers during the afternoon and early evening threatened to spoil proceedings, the wind dropped and the sun came out and it turned out to be a warm, calm sultry night.

    With good light I managed to go through the two big mixed flocks of gulls on the riverside. plenty of Herring and Lesser Black-backed and a few Great Black…

    • 26 Jul 2014
  • Look into my eyes... look into my eyes...

    I rescued this awesome Deer Fly (Chrysops relictus) from inside the centre yesterday morning.... partly because she was trying to get out partly because I did not want her sneaking up on me for a spot of liquid lunch....

    Those eyes are mesmerising!

    To go one better than the Deer Fly takes something special and this Six Belted Clearwing that I found in the wildlife garden was certainly that..... and for those of…

    • 25 Jul 2014
  • Late Night Opening and Moth Night - Friday 25th July

    Evening all... just a quick reminder that tomorrow is our July Late Night Opening which means that we do not close until dusk so feel free to turn up whenever you like for an evening stroll.  The weather is looking just fine too!  The cafe will be open for cold and hot drinks and possibly a slice of cake and hopefully the Barn Owls will entertain....

    As this finishes our Moth Night begins. It is billed for 9pm but I am…

    • 25 Jul 2014
  • Mud Pie Mayhem

    Buckets of mud and water, lots of watering cans and pots, and rubber ducks? Must be Mud Pie Mayhem!

     

    Yesterday was the first of our summer holiday activities for the under 5's - Mud Pie Mayhem!

    We've got a variety of activities for kids of all ages over the whole of the summer... On Wednesday mornings (starting at 11 am) it's all about the under 5's - getting mucky, messy and have fun! The best thing is we…

    • 24 Jul 2014
  • Love and Lunch

    Our Wasp Spiders are growing steadily and Clive Watts has been tending his charges on a near daily basis but this has given him the chance to observe some of the more intimate marital and dining arrangements that befall so many arachnid species....

    With patience he has been able to watch the tiny males loitering around the webs of the much larger females before taking the plunge and approaching for a bit of 'how's your…

    • 24 Jul 2014
  • Watch where you step!

    Summer is the time when some of our more striking caterpillars appear. I would not be surprised if we find Elephant or Privet Hawkmoth cats in the next few weeks and luminous green Emperor Moth cats are already on the prowel in search of somewhere to pupate.

    They are fast and fearless, I mean, who is going to pick on a great big green grub with black spikes and orange spots?

    The boardwalks in the woodland and our wildlife…

    • 23 Jul 2014
  • Aveley is looking good....

    With dropping water levels it is well worth spending a bit of time around Aveley Pools over the next few weeks. I have been out a few times recently and the scrape is starting to take shape for the autumn with muddy margins appearing that are already playing host to waders such as Green and Common Sandpipers and Snipe and other species such as the six Ruff and ten Black-taild Godwits that we saw at the weekend...

    • 23 Jul 2014
  • Learning curve

    With so many Peregrines in the London area now and with several pairs within striking distance of the reserve it is not surprising that we get visiting youngsters this time of year. 

    What is more unsuual is that this fiesty juvenile female is not a local bird but the orange ring suggests that it is from a pair from up the City.

    She made several half hearted stoops at the waders roosting on Purfleet Scrape the other day…

    • 23 Jul 2014
  • Have you seen our new Warden?

    Well sort of!

    At the weekend the wardening gang got a new member for the day - Caroline our Catering Manager!

    At the weekend we let Caroline out of the Visitor Centre to help the wardening team (Nicole our Warden, and Jamie a member of our volunteer wardens)  - as they headed out into the middle of the reserve!

    After getting though the electric fences and shooing away the curious cows and one bull, squelching through…

    • 22 Jul 2014
  • What's on over the summer holiday's for kids

    You can keep the kids happy this summer holidays with lots of fabulous activities here at Rainham Marshes!

    There is something happening every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the summer holidays for all age kids and a free trail that you can have a go at throughout the whole summer!

     

    Active Adventure's for those aged 5+ on Tuesday morning from 11 am

    Mud Pie Mayhem for the under 5's on Wednesday mornings from…

    • 22 Jul 2014
  • Explore Rainham Marshes in a different way!

    This summer you can explore the reserve differently, you can take part in a cycle ride open to everyone that is exploring part of Rainham Marshes!

    This Sky Ride is an off-road ride where you can spot a variety of wildlife and adventure on your cycle! A new cycle route links the villages of Purfleet and Rainham. This runs beside the reserve, following the Thames, looping round and passing the WW2 concrete barges and…

    • 20 Jul 2014
  • Another scorching day...

    What a day to follow yesterday.... its started like it meant to be humid and sultry with a breeze but quickly gave up on that idea after a few spots of rain at about 10am. Despite the stifling heat there was actually a lot to be seen with a very nice wader selection that today included: eight smart male Ruff, three Whimbrel, two Greenshank, four Oystercatcher, four Snipe, six Green Sandpiper, five Common Sandpiper and…

    • 20 Jul 2014
  • The arrival of Thor....

    Last night was meant to be an in house mothing session.... I cancelled it earlier as the weather forecast was not looking too clever.... but as we walked round in 28c at 7pm I was wondering if I had made a mistake..... More on that walk tomorrow but we ended up watching and becoming part of the most astonishing electrical storm any of us had ever seen. The sky roiled and boiled and formed strange shapes and patterns; lightning…

    • 19 Jul 2014
  • Hope you like spiders......?

    Amazing what you find when you have to clear out the blocked drains at work....

    Tegenaria sp spider....

    Lovely and better looking than some of things we had to look at this afternoon.....

    17-7-14

    • 17 Jul 2014
  • New - Book Cycle!

    Here at Rainham we have a something a little new - a second hand book scheme!

    Next time you're over, come and check out the new bookshelves and the fabulous books that are filling it - all starting from £1!

    All proceeds go straight into conservation - so pick up a new book and help us look after wildlife!

     

    Anyone can donate books, but at the moment we have enough - so keep us in mind...

    • 16 Jul 2014
  • Vote Skydancer!

    We need you! Please help us win a National Lottery Good Cause Award!

    Skydancer is an RSPB project aimed at raising awareness and promoting the conservation of hen harriers in the north of England, and has been nominated for a National Lottery Good Cause Award - there's only a week left to vote!

     

    Most people have never seen a hen harrier, but once seen it is rarely forgotten. This bird is a beautiful, agile hunter…

    • 16 Jul 2014
  • A walk in the sunshine....

    Today I went for a walk.....

    Yep, out and about around the reserve giving a VIP a feel for the marsh, its history, our involvement and its magnificent wildlife.

    It was hot when we headed out at around 1230 but I was enjoying myself and did not notice till the end at about 4pm just how crispy I felt!!

    Purfleet Scrape held Little Egrets and a few Teal when we started but no waders as such so we headed for the Cordite…

    • 16 Jul 2014
  • MP's visit

    The other week Jon Cruddas, Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham, visited the reserve to talk about conservation and the environment with the RSPB's Director of Conservation Martin Harper and Paul Wilkinson from The Wildlife Trust.

    They had a good meeting and then headed out onto the reserve to have a spot of wildlife watching!

     


    On his twitter page (@JonCriddasMP)   he said "Just at @RSPBRainham talking about the…

    • 14 Jul 2014
  • Barn Owls About!

    Our Barn Owls are still hunting over the reserve, showing off to lucky visitors so keep your eyes pealed!

      Paul Hawkins took this stunning shot early on Saturday morning (12 July)

     

     

    The time to see them is early mornings or evenings - we have a Late Night Opening on 25 July so come along and you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of these stunning creatures!

     

    • 14 Jul 2014
  • Round the world yacht race returns

    At the weekend the 12 boats taking part in the Clipper Race returned to London, passing the reserve, after a 11 month trek!

    The 12 boats and hundreds of crew, passed the reserve on  their way into central London at the weekend after passing through six continents for the presentation of the trophy to the winning team.

     

      Sorry for the bad pictures - they're taken with my phone through the window! :)

     

    The teams…

    • 14 Jul 2014
  • Rain, waders, pingers and inverts

    It has been an up and down week weatherwise with incredibly hots spells, driving rain, low cloud, intense humidity and sometimes howling wind to add a bit of variety.

    However, it has brought in a few waders. The Black-tailed Godwit flock has dwindled to eight birds now but we also now have a couple of Greenshank, two Green Sandpipers, Wood Sandpiper, two Common Sandpipers, Whimbrel and several Snipe on the pools…

    • 12 Jul 2014