• Continuing a theme...

    A young Peregrine was having a whale of a time out on the pools today and was practicing his hunting skills of all the terrified wildfowl.  Bob Cooper was in the right place to get some wonderful shots.  You can feel the speed and adrenaline of the massed flight.... and no he did not catch anything!

    I love action shots!

    29-1-15

    • 30 Jan 2015
  • Windswept Wildfowl

    With dark clouds, howling wind and driving rain and hail it was not a great start to the day (and please do not ask me about my journey in) but the afternoon was actually rather nice, if not a bit breezy and the windblown wildfowl out on Purfleet Scrape were once again shining in the sunshine.

    Pintail from Bob Cooper and Basil Thornton.  You can just make out the bronzy purple sheen towards the rear of the head and…

    • 29 Jan 2015
  • and more Raven news from today....

    The Ravens were on the tip late afternoon and showing very well from the Concrete Barges carpark. I suspect that they are starting to settle down for the breeding season as after robbing a Great Black-backed of a huge meaty bone, the bigger male then offered it to his partner and flew round kronking with his throat feathers all puffed out.... 

    I wonder where they will be tomorrow?

    27-1-15

    • 28 Jan 2015
  • Who hasn't seen a Kronker yet?

    Ravens are early breeders and it will not be too long before 'our' pair of these goose sized monster corvids start a new family on their breeding territory a few miles away. I would like to think that as they have become so accustomed to the marsh and the bounty that it holds that they will continue to now visit on a near daily basis throughout the year. However, it may be that these urbanised crows will stay closer to…

    • 25 Jan 2015
  • Ice skaters

    With ice holding the stiller waters in its cold grip for the last few days it has made interesting viewing around the woodland feeders where previously dropped seed that would have sunk in the blackness is now just sitting around waiting to eaten...

    This has provided visitors with excellent views of our commoner small birds as they flit down to collect an easily snaffled morsel!

    Femal Reed Bunting - Duncan Eames

    • 24 Jan 2015
  • Predatory Action

    The Marsh Harriers were especially active again yesterday with at least four different females-types being seen and some brief talon grappling and squabbling going on. I still find it amazing that we appear to have ten Marsh Harriers wintering on our wonderfully wet marsh.  To the best of my knowledge they are the only ones anywhere inside the M25 and do not forget that we are 30miles from the coast, albeit alongside the…

    • 24 Jan 2015
  • Who is doing the birdwatch today?

    What have you seen?

    Don't forget to register for Big Garden ‪#‎Birdwatch‬ this weekend! http://bit.ly/1CU937w

    Are you taking part? Join our Facebook event here: http://on.fb.me/1Amhs4q

    Don't forget to register for Big Garden #Birdwatch this weekend! http://bit.ly/1CU937w

Are you taking part? Join our Facebook event here: http://on.fb.me/1Amhs4q Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)

    • 24 Jan 2015
  • Are you ready? Cuppa? Lets watch!

    The Big Garden Birdwatch is nearly here - it's this weekend.

    All you need to do is spend an hour over the weekend of 24-25 January counting the birds in your garden. It's that simple!

    I remember taking part in  the Big Garden Birdwatch with my Mum and Dad when I was little. We would watch the wildlife in our garden while eating pudding after our Sunday roast!

    Not only is it fun and easy - it helps the…

    • 23 Jan 2015
  • Some high tide wader action...

    As the tide slowly came in today the Dunlin swirled in and spent most of the afternoon wheeling around and around, settling of a while, preening, dozing and then something would spook the lot and off they would go once again. Thirteen Curlew were also to be found along with the usual Lapwings, Golden Plover and a handful of Redshank.

    Like yesterday the solitary Avocet also appeared and glowed in the late afternoon sunshine…

    • 23 Jan 2015
  • Stripy Britches

    Given how wonderfully our Water Rails have been showing it is perhaps not too surprising that some words sprang to mind....

     

    22-1-15

    • 22 Jan 2015
  • A Big Day Out.......... possibly the longest blog post ever.....

    So a day off arrived and although I had not intended to ‘go to work’ things conspired to send me that way instead of north further into Essex. I was first on site and there are some perks to being staff and I let myself in and headed out in the frosty wilds with the whole reserve to myself and in the grip of a sub-zero frosty morning. It was still and quiet but the local Song Thrushes and ‘teacher teacher’ Great Tits…

    • 21 Jan 2015
  • Rats and other rodents...

    Our Brown Rats have been performing incredibly well at both the Woodland and Centre Feeders and we have even had people visiting just to be able to watch these charming pink fingered rodents going about their daily business without a care in the world.  I have actually been very impressed with the public response to them with seldom a strong word to be said against them...

    How cute? - Nick Robert Lay

    The balancing…

    • 20 Jan 2015
  • Wet Weasels and Saturated Stoats

    Lots of mustild activity at the moment with Stoats and Weasels being seen most days out on the trails and as we have seen before they have no qualms at all about getting wet when looking for rodent prey. Water Vole and Brown Rat have both been seen meeting a noisy end in feisty jaws.

     

    Stoat - Ann Keenan

    Weasel Sausage - Mark Vale

    Bloody bibbed Weasel - Duncan Eames

    Short-legged Weasel - Duncan Eames

    19…

    • 19 Jan 2015
  • No Cold Fronts but some White Fronts

    Evening all.... another fine day with glorious sunshine for the latter part and a good influx of visitors as well! The Water Rails performed admirably again today (no more mealworms please whoever that was...) with some fantastic views for everyone who headed round there.

    Water Rail - by me

    The waders were good again early doors but soon dispersed and the lack of wind allowed better views of things like Cetti's warblers…

    • 19 Jan 2015
  • A fun day on the ranch.....

    Well that was quite a day.... some serious Water Rail action off the Northern Trail and everyone was as well behaved as the trio of birds that spent the day scuttling around the Terrapin Pool. Lots of raptor activity too with five Marsh Harriers, 2 Buzzards, Peregrines, Sparrowhawks and Kestrels; swirling waders for the first hours before the tide turned; our first Bittern of the year that flew from the woodland all the…

    • 18 Jan 2015
  • Art in the Purfleet Hide - Tom Bell Photography 16-24 January

                     

     

     

            

    • 17 Jan 2015
  • The Hunt.... another night time poem

    Still not sure where the words are coming from at the moment but thought I would share...

    Bittern may be a scarce bird at RSPB Rainham Marshes but if you visit our reserves on the Somerset Levels, Minsmere, Dungeness, Leighton Moss or Lakenheath then you too may get the chance to experience this masterful hunter in action...

    16-1-15

    • 16 Jan 2015
  • Ever Changeable

    Just how many weather types can we cram into one day?  Glorious start with blue skies, almost no clouds and mercifully no wind to be replaced by a howling tempest at about 2pm that shook the building and visibly rose the Purfleet Scrape water level to be capped off with a sunny if somewhat breezy end to the day!

    Birdwise the tides meant that most waders were out on the mud for most of the day and there was a good flock…

    • 14 Jan 2015
  • Buffeted

    Those swirling waders that I waxed lyrical about yesterday were a bit of a draw from the look of things with some wondrous images posted as they bird restlessly attempted to get some shut eye on teh Purfleet Scrape.

    Different Dunlin colours in every shot from Lawrence Rogers

    Dunlins buffeted by the wind. Love the non-conformity for a change - Tony Orwell


    Lapwings with single Golden Plover and Dunlin - Tony…

    • 11 Jan 2015
  • Path updates Sunday 11 January 2015

    Afternoon!

    Looking at the weather forecast for tomorrow we think that the woodland will be open as usual (unless the weather changes).

     

    If the woodland is open it will mean that you will be able to walk the whole way round the reserve.

     

    Thanks!
    Louise

    • 10 Jan 2015
  • The Roost

    I woke last night with words in my head and scribbled them on a receipt. Not quite sure where they came from...

    • 10 Jan 2015
  • Woodland closed and yesterday's highlights

    Hello!

    So today, due to the high winds the woodland is closed today!

    There will be no access to the woodland area, cordite store, and the loop round the back of the woodland.

     

    You will be able to visit the viewing platform by the cordite store and the adventure playground.

    If you do visit you will not be able to do the whole walk round the reserve - you will be able to walk clockwise (past the Purfleet hide) to…

    • 10 Jan 2015
  • This is why I don't leave the office...

    Hi everyone,

     

    How are you?

    So yesterday I got stuck in the mud and had to call for help to rescue me!

     

    I was sent over to Wennington to take some photos (thanks boss!), and the bit that I was walking on was nice and firm, then one more step (ooh that a little more squidgy, but not too bad), one more step and my foot went straight down to my knee in mud!

    I got myself back a few steps, but it was a struggle, in the…

    • 10 Jan 2015
  • Woodland might be closed tomorrow (Sat 10 Jan 2015)

    Hi everyone,

    How are you today? I hope you are all well!

     

    So just a quick heads up that we might be closing the woodland tomorrow - there is predicted high winds for tomorrow.

    This means that there will be no access to the woodland area, cordite store, and the loop round the back of the woodland.

    You will be able to visit the viewing platform by the cordite store and the adventure playground.

    If you do visit…

    • 9 Jan 2015
  • Biking Birder makes a return...and I go for a walk!

    Today saw the return of the Biking Birder - Gary Prescott - to the reserve as part of his marathon journey around the UK.

    I will let Gary explain what he is up to and how you can help......

    "This year I will once more be taking to my bicycle in order to visit every RSPB nature reserve, of which there are over 200 around the UK. I will also visit all of the WWT nature reserves.

    My aim is to break the UK Green…

    • 8 Jan 2015