• What do they find to eat?

    I bet you wonder what all these little insectiverous birds actually find to eat on the marsh on a dank winters day? 

    Most of what sharp eyed birds like the Cetti's Warblers, Robins and Stonechats are looking for and catching is tiny and you are unlikely to see what it is but sometimes they will dart down and reappear with something more substantial...

    Like this female Stonechat with a very sumptuous green catarpiller…

    • 30 Nov 2014
  • Battling Shouty Warblers

    Our Cetti's warblers are incredibly vocal at the moment as the males reaffirm their winter territories and new birds attempt to set up their first.  Two are still battling it out for control for the Wildlife Garden with one on each side and I think that there are possibly two more using the carpark area as a stage for their shouting matches.  One will sing and another will answer back.

    Interestingly, unlike many bird…

    • 29 Nov 2014
  • Bob probe, bob probe...

    And that is how the our Jack Snipe was feeding on both occasions we saw it this week.  Bob, bob, bob, .... probe, probe probe.

    All the time those big high set eyes keeping a watch on the skies above for any danger. 

    Here it is with a slightly larger and longer billed Common Snipe in both shots taken by Russ Sherrif who picked up this little beauty on Monday. It seems to be best looked for on the roundish island on…

    • 29 Nov 2014
  • Rat Family

    We have always had Brown Rats around our feeders and this year is no exception and an energetic extended family party have been helping to clear up around both the centre and woodland feeders.

    So, no moaning about 'oribble disgusting rats.....  they are all part of the rich and diverse fauna of the reserve and anyway how can you call these adorable cute be-whiskered Rolands dirty? 

    From one rat fan to hopefully a…

    • 28 Nov 2014
  • Little bursts of song

    Skylarks are undoubtedly one of the finest and most loved of our avian songsters and on nicer days during the winter the odd bird will be tempted into song above the fields. On those days it is not about territory (it may not even be a British bird but a continental visitor) but is seemingly just about the joy of being able to share its glorious voice with the world below.

    Anne Keenan took this lovely shot the other…

    • 27 Nov 2014
  • Suspicions of an Eastern Accent

    Russ Sherriff took these great shots of this interesting looking Chiffchaff on Monday as it fed in the reeds by the Purfleet Hide on Monday.

    I reckon that there is a good chance that this is one of the eastern forms aka a Siberian Chiffchaff.

    The buffy brown colouration, good supercillium, slightly gingery ear coverts, olive hued wing feather edges, very white underparts and very black legs all point in this direction…

    • 26 Nov 2014
  • Silken canopy

    With lots of spiderlings around they sometimes manage to create some amazing silken structures.... yesterday, Jo Collins found this clump of Juncus out on the marsh completely covered in a blanket of web so that it looked liked some kind of ghostly hedgehog...

    25-11-14

    • 25 Nov 2014
  • Deluge nil.... Sunshine 1

    Well, after the Biblical rain of the last 24 hours who would have expected such a glorious day with sunshine beaming down , barely a breath of wind and blue almost cloudless skies.

    From my lofty viewpoint I have had a great views of the Ravens going about their business and one of the male Marsh Harriers has been quartering the meadows while the Peregrine had been making nature's biscuits (the Lapwings... everything…

    • 24 Nov 2014
  • Warming up for some last minute hunting

    With such generally mild conditions it is not overly surprising that there are still some Common Darters to be seen out on the trails along with the odd Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and even a Holly Blue!

    Thanks to David Hicks for the shots...

    22-11-14

    • 22 Nov 2014
  • 13c..... crazy times

    It may have dropped a few degrees by the end of play but yesterday it was by and large a glorious day...

    Five different Marsh Harriers have been seen making a total of eight since Friday (including Mr Wonky with his damaged leg who was seen on Wednesday) with two males quarreling out on Aveley with the Ravens looking on.

    Some great shots from David Hicks ...

    Pintail came back onto Purfleet Scrape in the afternoon…

    • 21 Nov 2014
  • The Great British Scrape Off...a masterclass

    The work has continued apace on the de-vegetating the Purfleet Scrape and to re-profile the islands and bunds.  It may look a bit drastic and bleak but the birds are already returning and Ian the Master Scraper JCB driver from Pearls, has been using his machine and bucket like he was delicately icing a cake. A real pleasure to watch.  I think that we might give his details to Paul and Mary for next year's series....

    • 20 Nov 2014
  • Harrier Heading South

    Not directly relating to the reserve, but having had four juvenile ringtail Hen Harriers head south through the marsh this autumn I thought that a little piece on the movements of a satellite-tagged bird from South West Scotland would be appropriate especially given the high profile currently being given to raptor persecution following the publication of our Birdcrime 2013 report and the push to licence grouse shooting…

    • 18 Nov 2014
  • Shop Opening Late Today

    Just a quick note to say that the shop at Rainham will be opening at about lunchtime today....  sorry for any inconvenience caused....

    • 16 Nov 2014
  • Deliberate Disturbance

    Pearls have been doing a great job in tweaking the MDZ and Purfleet Scrapes this week.  The former needed a little re-profiling and the removal of some of the encroaching sedges as well as a nice long-arm grab to remove a section of the reeds that will now allow you to view the scrapes from the actual MDZ\rather than only from outside or the river wall.

    Meanwhile, similar work out on the Purfleet Scrape is designed…

    • 15 Nov 2014
  • Catering Assistant

    There is still time to apply! We are looking for two people to join our staff team in the café! We have two part time Catering Assistant positions.

     

     We are looking for two Catering Assistants at our busy café at our Rainham Marshes nature reserve. The ideal candidates will be experienced in working in a demanding, hands on, customer facing operation, although full training will be given. The two available positions…

    • 14 Nov 2014
  • Enormous Skies...

    Sunshine and showers is what was forecast for today and that is what we are getting...

    Looks like the pot of gold is in the Purfleet Hide.....

    Lots of probing Starlings on the centre lawns this morning and the swirling flocks of Lapwings and Golden Plover were shining silver against the looming blackness...

    The Ravens have made their daily visit and Sam Shippey has at long last added them to his list!

    12-11…

    • 12 Nov 2014
  • Work on Aveley

    Hi everyone -

    Just to let you know that there may be some disturbance on the Aveley Marsh over the next couple of weeks.

     

    We will have contractors out on Aveley doing some re-profiling works, and removing some rush, so there maybe some disturbance.

     

    • 11 Nov 2014
  • Lest we forget... 100 years on

    Our reserve's role in billeting and training of international troops for both World Wars is well documented.

    And perversely, without the MoD and their acquisition of the land over 100 years ago the land would undoubtedly not have still been here for us to rejuvenate and bring back to its former glory...

    Pied Wagtail in the Poppies.... Paul Bashford

    11-11-14

    • 11 Nov 2014
  • You're having a laugh!

    Although the Little Grebe probably did not find it all that funny...

    Yesterday afternoon a Grey Heron decided that it wanted a bit of variety in its diet and so spying a wee little Dabchick swimming by it struck out and stabbed the unsuspecting bird. The next forty minutes were, to be quite honest, quite gross with the poor grebe still struggling and waving its legs around as the  Grey Heron attempted to swallow it head…

    • 9 Nov 2014
  • High Tide Wader Watching

    Pat and Bill led the Friday Beginners Birdwatch Walk today and from the looks of things had a great stroll round....

    Pat sent me the following report and the little video attached... "A wild and windy day but none of the predicted precipitation. Four species of goose, nine species of duck, five species of raptors, seven species of wader. A wonderful high tide roost on Purfleet Scrape, hundreds of Lapwing and Golden Plover…

    • 8 Nov 2014
  • Mega-passerine

    Russ Sherriff had one of the two Ravens fly low over his head kronking as it went. These are surely the best ever shots of Raven here as well as in London and Essex... and please do not mention the Tower of London...!

    Magnificent.....

    7-11-14

    • 7 Nov 2014
  • The First of the Season

    Monday saw the first corking sunset of the autumn....

    Plenty more to come I am sure....

    6-11-14

    • 6 Nov 2014