• The Wednesday Walk - 1 July 2015

    Hi everyone,


    I'm afraid to say that due to guide walk leader illness we might have to cancel tomorrow's Wednesday Walk. We are trying to find a replacement guide...

    Apologies in advance!

    • 30 Jun 2015
  • RSPB Cliffe and some quality Rainham grubbing....

    It's been a funny old week so far, bouncing around between work, home and hospital to visit recovering Mum. Popped over RSPB Cliffe Pools and had a nice couple of hours escape on Monday evening. Lots of young waders and wildfowl including new broods of Pochard, Tufted Duck and Shelduck. Some of the pools are looking very good and I saw both Black and Bar-tailed Godwits, Dunlin and Ringed Plovers albeit distantly. 

    • 25 Jun 2015
  • I'm off to the playground mum!'

    A warm but not overly sunny day out on the reserve and Russ Sherriff was fortunate enough to get some more superb shots of the Bearded Tits as they played on their climbing frame.  This has got to be the best year ever for the species at Rainham and hopefully we may get an obliging flock during the winter now as well!

    From what I have heard today the Kingfishers have been quite active and Russ also found our first Gadwall…

    • 24 Jun 2015
  • Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Stripy..... Arachnid!

    It's that time of year again and after the bumper 2014 and a dry winter it is not really that surprising that we already have good numbers of Wasp Spiders out on the trails. Clive Watts is already, by his own admission, starting to exhibit Wasp Spider OCD and counted 37 tiny ones yesterday in the grass along side the path as you head up to the Ken Barrett Hide.

    They may be very small at the moment and not be overly…

    • 22 Jun 2015
  • Speedy Wildlife Walks

    A speedy circuit this morning to open up the hides but quite rewarding in the breezy conditions. It was already pretty warm and there was plenty of insect activity.  Small Tortoiseshell butterflies were out egg laying on the Nettles and the first Meadow Brown of the year (for me) was flying strongly. Several large Tabanus autumnalis horseflies were prowling around the Adventure Playground, lounging on the fence rails…

    • 18 Jun 2015
  • Flutterby

    Sunday saw our second gig in the centre in two weeks with the delightful sound of Kate Doubleday and her band serenading a small group of guests in an intimate concert where we were immersed in tales of soaring buzzards, rolling hills, peppered dunes, flowery meadows and flying flycatchers.

    and if you are in Wales later in the month.....


    • 16 Jun 2015
  • Fat Humbugs

    Last week we found a new brood of Little Grebes on the ditch by the Purfleet Hide. They were tiny and happily being fed by their parents and could easily clamber up on their backs for a dry ride.

    Great shots by Mark Vale...

    Just a few days later and they had already grown and getting two, let alone three or four, stripy humbugs up there was proving difficult but they were still giving it a go!

    They have grown…

    • 16 Jun 2015
  • Moving the family....

    Ricky Blackman caught a Weasel today as she moved one of her young. It was very young and the eyes were still closed and he was unable to determine whether the pup was alive or not and therefore whether they were in the process of moving camp or she was disposing of one that had not made it a safe distance from the den.

    Whatever the reason that are fantastic shots of a great piece of animal behavior.


    • 14 Jun 2015
  • Defend nature... we need your voice...

    A few words from Mike Clarke – CEO RSPB

    We need your help to defend nature....

    Did you know that the laws that protect many of the wild places and nature you love are at risk? European leaders are considering weakening the laws (known as the Nature Directives) that protect our most vunerable wildlife and the homes they depend on. This could be catastrophic for wildlife.

    We need your support.

    Together we can…

    • 12 Jun 2015
  • Sunshine but where are the dragonflies?

    Things seem a little quiet on the Odonata front at the moment with few larger dragonfly species on the wing.  Late Hairy Hawkers are hanging on in there and the first Black-tailed Skimmers are joining the small numbers of Four Spotted and Broad Bodied Chasers that are on the wing.

    A male Banded Demoiselle was seen on Sunday flying straight through the middle of the Mini Fayre and another was seen and stalked by Lawrence…

    • 12 Jun 2015
  • We have a vacancy for a CATERING ASSISTANT



    We have a vacancy for a CATERING ASSISTANT

    Working 10am – 4pm Weekends.  

    You would help serve customers, cook and prepare meals and help with general cleaning duties in the kitchen.

    Ideally you will have experience of working in a busy kitchen or cafe, and be used to helping serve customers.

    Full training will be given. Hours 10am-4pm on both Saturday and Sundays.

    We need you to be enthusiastic…

    • 11 Jun 2015
  • Evening walk...

    With heavy traffic preventing a normal journey home last night I ended up at my parents for the evening and so at about 9.30 I decided to stop for a look on Rainham West in the failing light.  With reduced traffic noise and no wind, it was a pleasant half hour well wasted in order to get a free Bridge trip home! Plenty of warbler song with Reeds and Sedges still going strong and two Grasshopper Warblers were reeling again…

    • 11 Jun 2015
  • Guest Blog.... Dr Catherine Heatherington

    Several years ago I visited the RSPB Rainham Marshes to see if I could include it as a research site for my PhD at Sheffield University. A quick walk round was enough to make me realise that it would be great. I wanted to see how people thought about places that were once derelict and now had new uses as green spaces. Rainham Marshes was perfect and had the added bonus of being both a former military site and surrounded…

    • 8 Jun 2015
  • Insectopia

    It was a nice warm and largely sunny June day and after a fairly quiet Kids Birdwatching Club (great Hobby!) we headed back out for the Insect Afternoon amble. Plenty to see in the warm sunny spots out of the wind with quite a few hoverflies and other flies to sift through while young Dark Bush Crickets were everywhere and the first micro Coneheads were pinging around.

    Episyrphus balteatus - The Marmalade... a very…

    • 7 Jun 2015
  • Bundle of Bees

    Several visitors reported a Honey Bee swarm yesterday. They have set up home on the other side of a ditch and are therefore safe from disturbance and we shall leave them to it!

    Quite a sight and worth a look if you do a full circuit as they are between the end of the Northern Trail and the Butts Hide.

    (David Hicks)


    • 5 Jun 2015
  • Important reading....Kingfishers....

    So it looks like we might be good to go again...

    The male bird has been cleaning out the burrow on and off all day with the female in attendance for long periods, hence the picture fest again today. I suspect that she is pretty much ready to lay the next clutch, so things could get moving quickly....

    There were several incidents reported to us over the half term period that resulted in families and individuals (one…

    • 4 Jun 2015
  • Feeding Frenzy

    Everywhere you look there are the tell tale signs that hungry mouths are being fed but exhausted parents. Almost every warbler you see is carrying a juicy grub one way of a faecal sack the other.

    Sedge Warbler

    Some broods have just fledged with young Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps in the Cordite and there are now plenty of roving families of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits to be seen.

    How cute can a baby Blackcap look…

    • 4 Jun 2015
  • A Woodland Loop Update

    As many of you know, we had to take up some of the boardwalk planks on the woodland return trail back in the winter.  What we found underneath required more than  a few new bits of wood! So here we are in early June and most of that section of the trail has now been almost entirely grubbed up to reveal the old original MoD path underneath.  We are now looking at a simpler solution and are currently speaking to contractors…

    • 3 Jun 2015
  • Where has he been?

    Got a bit of a surprise yesterday afternoon when what appears to be the same male Turtle Dove reappeared on the grass just below the centre and proceeded to walk under benches and across the gravel before taking an amble along the path past the feeders. It then did exactly the same as last time and flew low around the centre and into the Mardyke.  Such an amazingly bright bird and it is just a little odd that no one has…

    • 3 Jun 2015