• A Touch of Eastern Promise

    Autumn 2016 has quite possibly been the most astonishing season for forty years in the extent and variety of eastern vagrant birds reaching our shores since the last few days in September. Being an inland site (albeit by the Thames) means that we struggle to draw in such coastal delights but we have still been looking in the hope of digging out a Yellow-browed Warbler, rare shrike or one of these new fangled funny stripy…

    • 30 Oct 2016
  • Ravens steal the show

    Well two days on and one of our Cattle Egrets is still around although it was not playing ball today and only showed to a few of us at about 10am before disappearing for the rest of the day. Hopefully it will reappear tomorrow.

    A shot from yesterday of one with a Field Vole - Dominic Mitchell

    Bearded Tit showed well on and off to some and not others with at least ten birds milling around and Cetti's Warblers were…

    • 26 Oct 2016
  • A Triumvirate of Egrets

    Yesterday the marsh became a bit of an egret hotspot... I was happily at home on my day off, tinkering in the garden when I began to get messages that started off with ' Cattle Egret just dropped onto Aveley Pool' through 'There are now TWO Cattle Egrets on Wennington!' and then 'THREE Great White Egrets have just flown down river...' and with several Little Egrets around too, we had ourselves three…

    • 24 Oct 2016
  • Vis Migging on the Ramp!

    Yesterday we tried a spot of skywatching but not just for raptors like we normally do. Instead we set ourselves up at the end of the ramp from mid-morning and kept our eyes on the skies to record the passing of any species that looked like it was actively on migration.

    This sort of Visible Migration excercise (or Vis Migging!) is a good way to get an idea of just how many birds are actually on the move on any one day…

    • 23 Oct 2016
  • Revitalizing our Hedges

    The native deciduous hedge in the middle of our car park has been slowly growing for the last 14 years and the time was right for some management work to take place on it but rather than just prune it back we invited my Dad and his team of Hedge Layers in to come in and demonstrate this now infrequently used method of stock proofing a hedge line.

    The hedge just prior to starting

    Hedgerows help define the uniqueness…

    • 22 Oct 2016
  • Air Iceland arriving at Gate 2

    We had a little touch of the north today with the unexpected arrival of a fine adult Whooper Swan.  It was first picked up bobbing around on the Thames by Andy Tweed and Phil Street before performing a magnificent flypast of the centre and then landing on Aveley Pool for about 30 minutes.

    Superb shot by Tom Bell

    After a wash and brush up it stamped along the shallow surface and took to the air and after performing…

    • 21 Oct 2016
  • Autumn Arrivals

    I am back.. sorry for the protracted absence... Let's do some catching up.  October is well and truly upon us although the weather has still largely warm and calm with almost no rain. As such the only water on site at the moment is on Aveley Pool with just a little on the Butts Scrape.  Purfleet Scrape is bone dry after the ridiculous temperatures of September and we need some serious rainfall to revitalize them and…

    • 18 Oct 2016
  • Little Lapwings - a regular toddler group


    How are you today?

    We have set up a regular toddlers group - Little Lapwings!

    Every Monday during term time pre-schoolers can get outside and have fun while learning! We'll be exploring nature in a thousand ways from minibeast hunting to crafts and natural play. It's muddy, it's mucky, it's heaps of fun and our sessions link to early learning goals too. The reserve is fully accessible so everyone can join…

    • 14 Oct 2016