• Glad I held off!!! The Final 2015 Bird Race Scores

    So, as I suggested yesterday, there was still everything to play for in the second and third place stakes with just two days to go and the Motley Crew put in sometime yesterday and found an immature Glaucous Gull which was also new for the year for the reserve and nice round 170 for Guy & Dolls team out in front.

    The GuilleNots tried valiantly to reinstate their one bird lead today but to no avail and have had to…

    • 31 Dec 2015
  • Target Pool Battle

    The Wednesday Walk and a few other lucky visitors were treated to a twenty minute battle between our pair of Peregrines and an unlucky female Teal out on the Target Pools this morning.

    After diving on the throng of duck, the natural instinct for the likes of Teal and Wigeon is to fly straight to water where they know that as a rule the Peregrine will not follow. Both adults were haranguing the duck and inevitably some…

    • 31 Dec 2015
  • 2015 Rainham Bird Race and the upcoming year...

    I was hoping to announce the top placings for the 2015 race before the end of the year but the teams in second and third place have only one bird between so it will not be over till darkness falls tomorrow afternoon!  I will put a little summary on at that time with the final team scores and site list!

    In the meantime I would like to announce that the 2016 Bird Race will kick start at dawn on January 1st when I lower…

    • 30 Dec 2015
  • Thanks for coming!

    Yesterday dawned still, calm and pretty clear with an amazing pre-dawn glow of rhubarb in the sky and it felt, even then that it was going to be an exceptionally busy Bank Holiday Monday.

    I had the place to myself to start with and it was so mild that I was able to sit outside and have some breakfast to the sound of a full winter chorus from seven loud and proud Song Thrushes along with every Blackbird, Robin,…

    • 29 Dec 2015
  • A Very Merry Christmas....

    Whoo hoooo....  two days off....  hope you are all relaxing and enjoying the festive spirit.

    And yep, we do reopen on Sunday 27th through to and including New Years Day so see some of you then....

    Thanks for all your support in 2015 and I could not write and illustrate my blog posts without all your wonderful conversations and photographs...

    Cheers from me and the rest of our incredibly hardworking team of staff and…

    • 25 Dec 2015
  • The Run Up To Christmas

    I will get to the gloriousness of today in a while but up until now it has been wet, wild and windy...

    As you can see - we almost lost Louise in the maelstrom.... (Tony O'Brien)

    Bird wise was was - how should I put this - quiet. It was so windy outside that Tony Houston reported a Swan flying backwards and anything that got above the height of the seawall suddenly found itself up near the railway!

    However, it…

    • 24 Dec 2015
  • Christmas Eve 2015 - opening times reminder...

    Hi everyone,

    Please note that we will be closing on Christmas Eve at 2pm!


    Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year from everyone at Rainham Marshes, and we'll see you the day after Boxing Day!

    • 23 Dec 2015
  • Art in the Purfleet Hide - Howard Vaughan - 21 December - 3 January

    Yes, I know, I am blogging about my own art...

    22-12-15

    • 22 Dec 2015
  • Winter coat.

    During the spring and summer our Fox Fence worked incredibly well and as a result we had our best breeding season for Lapwing, Redshank and many of the duck species but with all the work that has gone on this autumn inside the fence it is not surprising that a Wily Mr Fox has found his way inside.

    Quite a few of you have reported him to us over the last few weeks and today Bob Cooper got some incredible shots as he was…

    • 21 Dec 2015
  • 16c!!!!

    It's crazy outside at the moment.  It is currently 16c and with some weak sunshine it feels like a spring day out there. A couple of Peacock butterflies have been seen and there are Bumblebees on Buttercups and Bramble...

    I have just glanced out of the window and the Honey Bees that live in the building have all woken up and hundreds are swarming around the nest hole. I wonder where we will be in the spring with the…

    • 17 Dec 2015
  • Active in Nature - Launching in January!

    We are excited to tell you more about the Active in Nature launch in January!


    The RSPB is encouraging people to swap the sofa for the great outdoors this January as part of a new partnership with Sport England. The joint venture offers the chance for people to beat the festive blues by running, canoeing, climbing and cycling with wildlife on two RSPB nature reserves.

    The two-year project, which is aimed at getting…

    • 15 Dec 2015
  • Christmas Eve 2015: closing time

    Hi everyone,

    Please note that we will be closing on Christmas Eve at 2pm!

    Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year from everyone at Rainham Marshes, and we'll see you the day after Boxing Day!

    • 15 Dec 2015
  • West Ham : Goals beyond comprehension. Rainham Marshes : Nil

    I am very sad to announce that Roy Foster, one of our Monday morning regulars over the last few years suddenly and unexpectedly passed away over the weekend.

    Roy was an ardent West Ham fan and was often accompanied by his Arsenal scout friend Billy and he tended to be the first person through the door as I lowered the drawbridge.  Undoubtedly the first few lines of chat would be about the 'ammers performance over the…

    • 15 Dec 2015
  • A long but rewarding day...

    It startetd with murk - lots of murk - and drizzle - and damp - and general greyness but despite all that the bird still shone through and after the aforementioned gloom alleviated there was actually quite a lot to be seen.

    The Marsh Harriers performed very well all day and were frequently seen from the visitor centre as was one of the Short-eared Owls that Bill very kindly shouted out while having a cuppa.  At least…

    • 14 Dec 2015
  • Wall to Wall Blueness

    I had a plan – in fact for me it was quite a well thought out plan – well up until the bit where I left things at home (including my wallet and keys inside the house and the nice bit of board that I wanted to make my bird table top propped outside my front door - it was even still there when I got home this evening).

    Improvisation was in order and I found a circular piece of old MDF that used to belong to…

    • 10 Dec 2015
  • Keep them owls coming!

    It has been another mixed bag weatherwise for the past week but the windy and damp westerlies are hanging on in there and my hopes of a cold snap are fading!  Not much has changed with duck and wader numbers but we have had a couple of nice afternoons and the Short-eared Owls have been stunning.

    The end of the river wall is still the best spot but we did have one hunting the centre end and perimeter ditch before weaving…

    • 8 Dec 2015
  • Ten Years Ago Today... Plover Lover

    Where does the time go?

    Way back in 2005 on the 4th December, myself and Mike Dent were out on the reserve conducting the monthly Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS). It was a cold, still and overcast day I seem to recall and we had not seen anything of great note but there were very good numbers of Lapwing with about 2000 across the site.

    The marsh was not yet open to the public (that was another 11 months away) and we had…

    • 4 Dec 2015
  • The Diver...

    The Diver is quite possibly the best example of performance art to be found anywhere in London and it is a sight to see in all weathers and at all stages of the tide. It has such a distinctly Marvin-esque feel about it...

    Hugh Edmondes-Preedy

    John Kaufman (1941–2002) was a self-taught sculptor living and working in the London Borough of Havering, East London. Inspired by prominent public artist Don Rankin to create his…
    • 2 Dec 2015