• A local wanderer?

    A couple of really good birds over the reserve this weekend with a female Red-crested Pochard on Aveley Pool being the rarest as it was actually the very first for the reserve. The Spotted Crake was seen again and a Little Stint, Hobbies and Spotted Flycatchers made for interesting birding.

    However prize bird goes to the Long-eared Owl that David Smith found this morning being mobbed by a Lesser Whitethroat.

    It showed…

    • 31 Aug 2014
  • Autumnal ambles

    I arrived early and despite being dog tired I persuaded my tired body that a walk in the sunshine would be better than a coffee and kip.

    I was rewarded within just a few minutes with the buzzing ‘dzeeep’ of not one but three Tree Pipits. Normally and overhead Autumn migrant, it is unusual to see them on the deck here but here was I watching a trio on the barb wire fence at the bottom of the exit ramp. One even stayed…

    • 30 Aug 2014
  • Curious Cats

    Our summer kids events have been very well attended and yesterday two kids who had been on the craft session came back in and presented me with two distinctly different species of crafty caterpillars...

    As for which species of moth they will become..... who knows?!

    Funky cats by Josiah (3) and Imani Mills (9).... great stuff!

    28-8-14

    • 28 Aug 2014
  • It's a lot less bover when you hover!

    Sorry folks but been a way in sunny Cornwall..... so what did I miss?

    Well the Spotted Crake still seems to be making sporadic appearances, a few terns and a couple of hulking Great Skuas (I much prefer Bonxie!) came up river in the gloom on Tuesday and the waders have been still showing well on the pools but the undoubted highlight was Bob Cooper and Tony Orwell's unprecedented count of nearly 20 Common Buzzard…

    • 28 Aug 2014
  • Look for lizards!

    Hi everyone,

    I hope that you are well!

    It's been a great few weeks for amphibians, reptiles and mammals - well all sorts of wildlife actually! We even had a new species of damselfly for the reserve earlier in the month (click here for the whole story)!

     

    Recently lots of people have been coming in to the centre saying they've seen (and taken some fabulous pictures) of our brilliant common lizards! They are amazing…

    • 24 Aug 2014
  • We Vote for Bob - do you?

    Here at Rainham Marshes we are voting for Bob!

     

     

    Are you?

    A vote for Bob is a vote for nature! Running up to the election we need as many people as possible to stand up and support.

    By showing your support for Bob you are showing politicians that nature matters to you. You can vote for Bob by adding your name to his petition. The more votes we get, the louder our voice will be and the more politicians we can reach…

    • 24 Aug 2014
  • Reflecting...

    Coots live a frantic, noisy and sometimes frankly aggressive life and the breeding season is full of territorial disputes, violent confrontations with stabbing bill and flailing legs and quite moments of delicately tending their young brood after brood interspersed with unexplainable infanticide....

    Autumn is upon us and the more social side reveals itself with great rafts of coal black bodies covering our shallow reservoirs…

    • 22 Aug 2014
  • Autumnal feel

    The Spotted Flycatchers were still around yesterday and Tom Bell stalked them to get some good shots as they fed in the ever dwindling Horse Chestnut canopy.

    It is just a pity that we now have to wait until the autumn months to get such views of this plain but enigmatic bird that used to breed in every urban park when I was a kid.

    Spot Fly (Tom Bell)

    The Ivy is starting to attract insects and is often a good place…

    • 21 Aug 2014
  • A touch of the Mr Creosote's....

    Could this Crab Spider be any bigger?  She is Misumena vatia and she is fit to burst!

    But hey, when a wafer thin snack presents itself it would be rude to say no.......

    This superb shot was taken by Basil Thornton

    20-8-14

    • 20 Aug 2014
  • Spotted this and that

    Sounds like there were a few good birds out on the reserve today with the Spotted Crake unsurprisingly reappearing on Aveley Pool after a weekend of hiding and at least two Spotted Flycatchers in the Cordite.

    www.youtube.com/watch

    Another Spotted Crake video from Pat Hart ... this one from the 5th August.

    Spot Fly (Russ Sherriff)

    Lots of warblers around again including a few bright Willow Warblers and family parties…

    • 20 Aug 2014
  • Totally Thames Photographic Competition

    Afternoon everyone,

    Have you heard about Totally Thames?

    Taking place for the first time throughout September 2014, Totally Thames is an exciting new, month-long celebration of the river across its 42 London miles. There's 100's of events and activities all along the Thames - and we’re taking part! We've got four walks throughout September - go to the events page for more.

    Delivered by the same team…

    • 19 Aug 2014
  • Monthly Summary July 2014

    Sorry for the delay... it had completely slipped my mind....

    Wader passage picked up with a good selection of expected species dropping in through the month including the first Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits, Wood Sandpipers from the 8th, Turnstone, 8 Ruff, Avocet and Whimbrel. Common Sandpipers peaked at 13 (21st). The river was quiet but a Little Tern was a surprise (18th) and Sandwich Terns were seen on the 12th and…

    • 19 Aug 2014
  • Thumper & Vera - an update

    As promised.....The last two airworthy Lancaster bombers about to disappear from view as they flew east down river yesterday....

    (Jerry Hoare)

    There were over 7,000 Lancasters produced between 1941 and 1946 but now there are only two remaining.

    One, nicknamed Thumper, is maintained by the RAF's Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the other, Vera, by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

    The two planes made…

    • 18 Aug 2014
  • London to Southend off road bike ride - via Rainham Marshes!

    The 40 mile off-road ride from London to Southend is ideal for those new to mountain bike events or those just looking for a different ride - and passes through the lovely Rainham Marshes!

    The ride follows a lovely route of tracks, trails and unmade paths to get you from the edge of London to the vibrant seaside town of Southend.

     

    This event is a great introduction to off-road riding organized by the British Heart…

    • 17 Aug 2014
  • Hanging around for sunshine...

    Yesterday was a great day for dragonflies and in the sheltered, warmer spots the hawkers were amassing with all four species seen. Today is decidedly cooler and I suspect that your best bet will be to look for these fiesty hunters hanging up catching some rays to give them the energy to dash out after other flying prey....

    Brown Hawker (Tom Bell)

    Emperor (Henry Wyn-Jones)

    Migrant Hawker (Jo Collins)

    Southern…

    • 17 Aug 2014
  • Hovers, Bombers and Orange Frills

    Loads of good insects on the walk today but the birds were pretty good too with the now regular variety of waders along with Hobby, Yellow Wagtail, Tree Pipit, Sandwich Tern, Garganey and flocks of chatty moulting young Starlings....

    Garganey & Black-tailed Godwit  (HTV)

    The two Lancasters perfrmed a distant fly past.... (more on that later I hope) and it was generally a nice day. We added two species of Hoverfly…

    • 17 Aug 2014
  • Damsel in Detrees

    On August 7 Dawn Cowan took a series of great images of an Emerald Damselfly in the woodland near the little bridge.  Alarm bells were sounded as the pterostigma (the  cell in the outer wing of insects which is often thickened or coloured and so stands out from other cells) was all white and not dark as in the both Common and Scarce Emerald which we get here...

    Could it be a Willow Emerald?  This species is fast colonizing…

    • 16 Aug 2014
  • Annie's Magic Moth Moment

    Found this beautiful Hummingbird Hawkmoth literally at the moment of emergence and as I moved her to a safer position, she ejected her remaining caterpillar soup (like ink) over my hand!

    After half an hour of further drying out, we placed her gently on a buddleia and shortly after that she flew away !!!

    Pics by Howard

    Hummingbird Hawkmoth is normally a summer migrant to the UK and can be seen hovering very…

    • 15 Aug 2014
  • Micro Ginger Rodents

    Tom Bell found a family of baby Harvest Mice on the trail yesterday and many people enjoyed point blank views of these inch long micro ginger rodents as they fed on bits of reed at peoples feet (apparently they were still around today). Harvest mice are tricky to see at the best of times and my only sightings have been on the foreshore over high tides so I have to admit to being a tad jealous....

    www.youtube.com…

    • 15 Aug 2014
  • Charadriiformes, ISS, Mega Moons and Glowing Bums....

    Last night saw another of our Late Night Openings.... Despite the earlier showers it stayed dry and a fantastic evening was experienced by those who took the gamble.

    The wader fest from during the day persisted into the after hours session with 29 gloriously lit Black-tailed Godwits feeding out on Purfleet with Little and ‘normal’ Ringed Plover, teetering Common, Green and Wood Sandpipers, probing Snipe and flocks of…

    • 14 Aug 2014
  • That Fly...

    And so a little more about the fabulously green, vertically challenged, hooky footed, frenzied tap dancing fly from Monday....

    Some lads brought in a poorly young Woodpigeon in a damp bucket and left it on reception.  Other than being a bit skinny it looked ok so I was about to take it outside and put it up in a tree when a fly abandoned it's sinking ship and quite literally scuttled up my exposed arm.... '

    • 13 Aug 2014
  • Todays goodies and Late Night Opening 13 August

    Evening all....

    Another nice little haul today from various people.... Spotted Crake again from the first Aveley Pool platform, 3 Whimbrel, 8 Green Sandpiper, 2 Wood Sandpiper, 5 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Ringed Plover, 8 Dunlin, 7 Snipe, 120 Lapwing, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 4 Garganey,  Juv. Water Rail, 18 Swift, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Chiffchaff, 5 Bearded Tit .....

    A juvenile Black-tailed Godwit (Wendy…

    • 13 Aug 2014
  • An autumnal feel....

    A fantastic day on the reserve.... strange the things you do on your day off.... Need some sleep so a simple list should whet your appetite....

    Spotted Crake, Water Rail, 2 Wood Sandpipers, 8 Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Oystercatcher, 6 Dunlin, 5 Little Ringed Plovers, Ringed Plover, 120 Lapwing, 4 Snipe, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Hobby, juv Marsh Harrier, 5 Garganey, 2 Wigeon, new brood Tufted…

    • 12 Aug 2014