• The Next Weather Wave

    When will these westerly airflows ease up?  It dawned clear and bright with not a cloud to be seen and a stunning moon hanging overhead. There was no frost but it was chilly and the Wigeon were eagerly having a wash and brush up on the Purfleet Scrape with their breath steaming in the air. 

    The first part of the day was calm but the low murk began to edge its way in from late morning and the day soon took on a more dour…

    • 29 Nov 2015
  • One section down.....

    The work party have been slaving away over the last few weeks to firstly take up and the old boardwalk between the Ant Hill and Dragonfly Pool and then to re-construct it using the same recycled plastic boards that we construct both the Dent's Drop and Southern Trail Viewing Platforms and the Viewing Stands dotted around the trail.

    They have been on the project nearly every day and in some appalling weather but they…

    • 27 Nov 2015
  • There is a lot going on over the next few weeks!

    Things coming up:


    • There are still seats available for tomorrow’s (27th) wonderful Talk on the Wildside at 1930 by David Lindo – The Urban Birder. Ring 01708 899851 to book

    • David James will be with us on Sunday 29th to provide his monthly TuiNa massage sessions. Freebie tasters and bookable time available. Ring David on mobile: 07968989750 or just drop in.

    • The weekend of the 12th and…

    • 27 Nov 2015
  • Who pinched my sunset?!

    A much calmer day today with almost no wind and despite staying bright for most of the daylight, it sadly clouded up for the last few hours.  However this did not stop some excellent Short-eared Owl action with at least seven birds seen once again with dog fights between them and the Marsh Harriers and the Carrion Crows.

    Mark Jones got these lovely shots yesterday evening - no such light this evening...

    There was…

    • 27 Nov 2015
  • More Wols Than You Can Shake A Stick At....

    Another mixed bag of wonderful British weather today with rain and wind followed by sunshine and a clouds with the mother of all cloud banks that was still heading south east as the sun snuck off and hid and the light fell. The wader numbers on the south side of the Thames have remained stable but there was no sign of the six Grey Plover that we saw yesterday. The Dunlin tried once again to roost on Purfleet but the

    • 26 Nov 2015
  • An Icy Blow

    An icy blow from the north at the weekend saw the temperatures plummeting and the first ice on the shallow water of our pools.  The gales of Saturday had just a tad too much west in them to suck any of the myriad of Little Auks, skuas, sea duck and divers up to our reaches of the Thames but both Little Gull and Kittiwake were seen and our first Goosander of the year was noted.

    A Little Auk headed our way from Grays on…

    • 24 Nov 2015
  • Still stuck in the west

    The westerlies have not abated and the temperature has started to drop and with it has come the much needed rain.  The scrapes have been topping up quickly and the wintering Wigeon numbers have slowly increased to get above the 200 mark for the first time.

    Wigeon dreading - Mark Vale

    The strong wind has kept most of the small birds low and the Dartford Warblers have unsurprisingly not been seen since last Wednesday…

    • 19 Nov 2015
  • A Public Service Announcement....

    The four and six pack plastic rings that hold cans and tins together are quite simply a menace to many forms of wildlife. Do not look on line for images - it is not pleasant.

    At the moment we have a Cormorant on Aveley Pool with one such holder around it's neck. Thankfully, it does not appear tight but is annoying the bird and it only needs to get caught on a snag while fishing and the bird will drown.

    Joanne…

    • 14 Nov 2015
  • Maelstrom...

    Well that was a fun day... not that I ventured beyond the drawbridge today other than a quick pre-work look at the west end of the seawall where no Shorties were seen but a Woodcock did careen past and several Rock Pipits came up from the salt marsh. I was also glad for the first time to have actually put shoes on rather than sandals!

    The sunrise was pretty good and worth the chill start...

    The rest of the day was…

    • 14 Nov 2015
  • Some new invertebrates.... small is good

    I know that for most part the insect aspect of our lovely reserve descends into a winter torpor this time of year but it give the likes of the very talented Phil Collins the time to go through all the images he has taken during the course of the year and delve more into the intricacies if specific species identification...

    Thankfully there are other experts on hand to help with this task and over the last couple of weeks…

    • 13 Nov 2015
  • We saw some sunshine!

    I did not get out again today but it was quite blustery after and early lull with a touch of November chill about thigns.  The Ravens were about on and off all day which was cool and Mark vale had a couple of Short-eared Owls along the river wall although despite bright conditions they did not reappear at dusk.

    SEO - Mark Vale

    There are some nice Goldfinch and Linnet flocks around at the momeent and Starling numbers…

    • 13 Nov 2015
  • History in Metal

    I was out and about Sunday afternoon and found a lovely RSPB car grill badge in an antique shop which I acquired after a bit of haggling.  Never seen one before!  So I thought I would dig out my RSPB badges for a bit of nostalgia....

    Has anyone got anything different?

    12-11-15

    • 12 Nov 2015
  • Short ears - tiny crests...

    So despite the blowy conditions it would appear that a few people had a great day out on the reserve with no less than seven Short-eared Owls being seen at about 3.30pm at the same time down in Aveley Bay where they came up from their daytime roost.  That must have been amazing for Nick and Lee who had also never seen a Shortie before!

    SEO - Lee Spence - I think I can can still see both him and Nick smiling :O)

    The…

    • 12 Nov 2015
  • A few bits for the notebook...

    With a wet and very windy weekend it was not suprising that bird sightings were a little thin on the ground.  The Short-eared Owls were seen but were reluctant to show themselves in such inclement conditions and it was actually surprising that at least one of the Dartford Warblers has been seen every day!

    SEO - Bob Jenner

    The Water Pipits have continued to provide a good draw and at least six were seen today from the…

    • 10 Nov 2015
  • Where did she come from?

    I spent a short while before work this morning down in Aveley Bay where three Short-eared Owls performed well if slightly grumpily in the damp conditions.

    A Goldcrest called from the Gorse (Jason had a Dartford Warbler there shortly afterwards) and Skylarks were everywhere. However, the oddity of my visit was Great Spotted Woodpecker that dropped in from up high and bounded around a bit before settling briefly by the…

    • 6 Nov 2015
  • An Update on the Nature Directives and some more help please!

    We all know that many of the special places we love in South East England are under threat, through proposed weakening of the European legislation that protects our finest habitats and species – the Nature Directives.  Places like the wonderful Dungeness, Pulborough and our fine reserve here could be at threat if we do not keep fighting.

    What are the Nature Directives?

    From the Scilly Isles via the Norfolk Broads…

    • 5 Nov 2015
  • Natural animation

    Morning,

    On Tuesday 27 October we ran a new and different event here at the reserve - Natural Animation!

    The animation was made by eleven young animators ranging from 4 years old to 13 years old (watch out Nick Park!) using natural materials!

    They did an amazing job, and the results are great!

    We wanted to share their work with you:

    community.rspb.org.uk/.../Animation-Workshop-Rainham-Marshes-2.mp4

    A huge…

    • 5 Nov 2015
  • Café Menu Improvements....

    Cafes on reserves across the RSPB are moving towards a more standardized menu and as such as of Monday 2 November you will see some changes in the menu itself and some alterations to the odd price or two. Some familiar favourites (I nearly said species!) have moved on but I am sure that you will find something new and exciting to tickle your tastebuds.

    New Specials board below...  oh and we still do Jacket Spuds and we…

    • 4 Nov 2015
  • Whoo hoooo... 20% of Apex Nest Boxes until 17 November

    Morning all... It's a great time of year to put up nest boxes and we have a great offer in our shop until the 17 November....

    • 4 Nov 2015
  • The Fog Lifts...

    Just a bit of murk this morning with no grotty claggy fog but thankfully also no wind either. I headed out shortly after we opened up and wended my way towards the woodland. Redwings and Song Thrushes were pinging out of the bushes and the playground held a nice mixed flock of Green, Gold and Chaffinches.

    I successfully pished out a Goldcrest and some Long-tailed Tits by the bridge and a Chiffchaff called a little further…

    • 4 Nov 2015