• A Hot Halloween

    So.... a glorious day reaching 21c according to our weather station....

    Not too bad a day if you kept your eyes open....another fly through ringtail Hen Harrier (Clive Watts, Paul & Janet Herridge), 8 Bearded Tit, 2 Corn Bunting, (Shaun Harvey) the daily Raven, m & f Marsh Harrier, 3 Peregrine, 2 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrels, juv Dark-bellied Brent Goose with the Greylags (thanks to Harry Lacey), 56 Golden Plover…

    • 1 Nov 2014
  • Do you know the Muffin Man?

    Well, the Muffin man is in fact two ladies (Kat and Kerry) and they work at The Muffin Makery in Shoeburyness and not Drury Lane...... but other than that they do they same job! 

    Our Halloween delivery of spooky specials arrived this morning by broomstick and are just waiting for you to come and snaffle them up....

    May have to try one later......

    • 30 Oct 2014
  • Houseboat!

    Afternoon,

    This went past the reserve the other day...

     

    That's what you call a house boat!

     

     

    Bit different from Cary Grant and Sophia Loren's...

     

    • 29 Oct 2014
  • 2014 ... A Goose Oddity...

    Egyptian Goose may have been at large in the UK for many years now but it is only in the last five or so that it has cropped up in Essex with an regularity and it is now breeding at many locations in the county.

    However, it is still a very scarce bird at Rainham, to the extent that some of the local birders still want it for their site list!

    On the 17th Russ Sherriff discovered one with the Greylags and it has been…

    • 29 Oct 2014
  • Carparkpeckers

    Our resident Green Woodpeckers are often to be found hopping around the nicely mown verges in the car park where they probe for ants and other tasty invert snacks....

    Keep you eyes and ears open and perhaps you too can get a shot like this!

    Our female bird with her solid black moustaches... pics by Russ Sherriff and Lawrence Rogers

    28-10-14

     

    • 28 Oct 2014
  • A weekend of surprises

    Saturday was a great day to be out on the reserve with a graceful juvenile male Hen Harrier (it was quite dinky by all accounts) seen out over firstly Wennington and then Purfleet Scrape in the afternoon. Such an effortless bird that is such trouble as an English breeding bird....

     

    Hen Harrier with company (Lawrence Rogers)

    The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was seen again in the woodland and whilst watching this, Louis…

    • 27 Oct 2014
  • Nature's Got Talent!

    Nature's Got Talent - vote to save it!

    http://youtu.be/zRsh1Ffvc8s

     

    A vote for Bob is a vote for nature.

    http://www.voteforbob.co.uk

     

      

    P.S. The above is what happens when you give Howard squirrel and hedgehog cuddly toys! I think it's brill!

    • 25 Oct 2014
  • Wennington works - X marks the spot...

    Hello,

    You've probably seen the couple of blogs about the works going on over on Wennington - creating a series of new shallow scrapes and drains across the marsh that would considerably enhance the marsh for wildlife...

    (If not, find out more about the project have a look here, and the latest news of the works going with a bang look here)

     

    So since Wednesday things have been going with a bang...

    We had to…

    • 25 Oct 2014
  • Say it ain't so, Beefy ..... an important post to read from Martin Harper

    Morning all....

    Please take the time to read this blog post from our Conservation Director, Martin Harper....

    Click here...

    • 24 Oct 2014
  • Mild means keep going!

    The amazingly mild autumn that we have had so far is prolonging the life of a good number of Mesembrina meridiana on the wing along with Eristalis tenax hoverflies, Clouded Yellows, Red Admirals, Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters....

    Mesembrina meridiana (HTV)

    Mesembrina meridiana blowing bubbles.... (Clive Watts)

    and a cool shot from Dawn Cowan

    Clouded Yellow (Lawrence Rogers)

    Common Darter (Jo Collins…

    • 24 Oct 2014
  • Airborne at last

    Our Aveley Marsh family of Mute Swans are now on the wing with one of the four normal youngsters having already having moved. The rest of the family including the gleaming white Polish cygnet are still out there doing circuits.  This is the first year that this pair have successfully raised a Polish bird...

    Jo Collins captured one of this practice flights on Monday during her visit... a great record of this breeding success…

    • 24 Oct 2014
  • Wennington works - going with a bang!

    Yesterday I blogged about the works that are going on over on Wennington - creating a series of new shallow scrapes and drains across the marsh that would considerable enhance the marsh for wildlife...

     

    Well since then things have been going with a bang...

    Literally!

    The contractors found something they were unsure of - we warn all contractors to be careful due to the military history on site, it turned out to …

    • 24 Oct 2014
  • Wheatears out - Stonechats in

    Chats are moving south, but some are stragglers from the far north like the late Wheatears are on their way to Sub-Saharan Africa and will keep on moving while others like our dapper little Stonechats may have come from not so far north and are just as likely to hang around all winter.

    As proved by colour ringing recently, at least one of the birds that we have had at Rainham over the years was ringed in Norfolk as a…

    • 23 Oct 2014
  • Works on Wennington

    Hi everyone,

    To ensure a nature reserve good for wildlife a lot of work goes into habitat work. We can't just leave the land - succession would take over and woodland would take over (woodland is great, but not for all wildlife. We need a variety of habitats to make it good for all sorts of wildlife).

    Our main objective at Rainham Marshes is to provide attractive breeding habitat to declining lapwings and redshank…

    • 22 Oct 2014
  • Check them 'shanks...

    Our Redshanks are starting to come back from their Icelandic breeding grounds (our breeding birds have already moved south) and about 120 are now commuting between feeding on the mud in Aveley Bay and on the Kent side between the Darenth Barrier and Erith Yacht Club and roosting on the now full Winter Pool on the reserve. Waiting at the end of the exit ramp from the centre can be quite productive to catch them as they…

    • 22 Oct 2014
  • Hurricane Gonzalo is whipping things up

    The tail end of this Atlantic storm is currently thrashing parts of Britain and the Thames basin is getting a taster at the moment with a howling westerly sweeping down the river, raising white horses and sending a shimmer of spray through the air.  Some of the Vagrants are out on the balcony in the hope of some windblown seabird arriving across country from the Bristol Channel but I reckon that tomorrow may be the day…

    • 21 Oct 2014
  • Woodland closed today...

    Morning everyone ,

    The woodland will be closed today due to the high winds.

      Picture by Jodie Randall (rspb-images.com)

     

    The trails and hides are open - but you can't do a full circuit, you'll have to turn back at the Ken Barrett hide.

    Thanks!

     

    • 21 Oct 2014
  • Rampaging Ron...

    Lots of Ron Weasel activity at the moment with frequent visitor encounters with our feisty mustilid friend.  The Boardwalks seem to be the best place to catch up with him but watch out because Sid Stoat is also on the prowl....

    (Michael Jones)

    Galloping (David Dent)

    21-10-14

    • 21 Oct 2014
  • Star Gazing at Rainham Marshes!

    Join the Loughton Astronomical Society for a night looking at the stars!

       Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

     

    On Tuesday 28 October join us here at Rainham between 7.30-10 pm for an evening of the night sky - from beginners astronomy (equipment, what to look for, questions), a tour of the night sky by laser pointer, and the chance to view the stars through telescopes!



    Please note: the activities will change if the weather…

    • 20 Oct 2014
  • Thames River Watch clean-up event to tackle litter at RSPB Rainham Marshes!

    We need you!

    As you've probably seen the foreshore area collects rubbish after high tides. On Sunday 26 October we are going to be working with Thames21 and RSPB Gravesend Local Group to do a community clean-up of the foreshore - and we need you!

    Come along and help 9 am-1 pm!

     

    Join Thames 21 (the voice for London’s waterways, working with communities to improve rivers and canals for people and wildlife) for…

    • 20 Oct 2014
  • Some kind of pipit..... but which one?

    A strange looking pipit has been seen daily down on the foreshore for a couple of weeks now and has attracted quite a bit of attention with visitors coming in daily to ask about the cream pipit with orange legs they had seen.

    Well at last someone has got some decent shots and Keith Hopson has kindly sent them over.  Quite simply it is a Meadow Pipit that has a few pigmentation issues.  It is very plain and almost unmarked…

    • 20 Oct 2014
  • Monthly Summary September 2014

    Very sorry but forgot to post this earlier in the month.... so for completeness...

    September 2014:

    Wader passage was again quite slow although 23 species were seen during the month with six Curlew Sandpipers on the 1st probably being the highlight. Our wintering Spotted Redshank returned for its third year and a Little Stint was a good find late in the month. A Great White Egret spent two days from the 7th on the pools…

    • 20 Oct 2014
  • This Weekend... A touch of Autumn

    It has been a good few days out on the reserve with the Great Skuas of the week days lingering throughout and at times giving superb views... 

     .

    Russ Sherriff has got shots here of Bonxie that I would not expect to get unless you were in the Shetlands at a breeding colony! Awesome...

    But it was not all about these big predatory brutes...

    Mark Vale got a shot of the first Short-eared Owl of the season as it got…

    • 20 Oct 2014
  • Mysterious underwater noises - an update

    The story so far....

    David Smith has always recorded the sounds of Rainham Marshes but has recently bought a new toy... a hydrophone...

    Today he lowered it into a ditch from a bridge and recorded this amazing sequence of sounds.....

    We have no idea what is making these mad-long-tailed Tit sounds but whatever it was, it is aquatic!

    community.rspb.org.uk/.../pond-sounds-RM-15_2D00_10_2D00_14-David-Smith.mp3

    and now…

    • 19 Oct 2014