Hello! I hope that you week has been going well.

I thought I would share some of the things that have been happening this week at Rainham Marshes.

Click on the title to see the whole blog post...

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Purfleet Scrape

There is water on the Purfleet Scrape!

All the rain has really helped, and the Wardening team have been doing a brilliant job making sure that the water we have is moved around to the right places (as well as doing lots of cutting and other management!)

Occasional drying out is part of the natural management of a scrape which can help the marsh thrive - but it is nice to see water on there again!

We've also had our friend Ian from Pearl's to start our annual programme of scrape de-silting and re-profiling to keep them fresh and open for wintering waterfowl and breeding waders next spring. 

We are grateful to Land of the Fanns for help with a grant towards the cost of some of this work. The Land of the Fanns is a Heritage Lottery funded Landscape Partnership Scheme, and is a 5 year programme seeking to restore, discover and celebrate one of the last remaining landscapes of London as it once was.

   

Have a look at their website for more details about the work that they are doing...

In this photo below you can see Ian helping spread farm yarn manure on part of the Purfleet Scrape to help boulster nutrients and biomass in the scrape.

  Andrew Gouldstone

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Wildlife

The kingfisher at the Marshland Discovery Zone has been the star of the show this week - showing occasionally at the Marshland Discovery Zone.
  Kingfisher by Helen Mathias

Waders are showing well - with 50+ black tailed godwit, over 20 avocet, lots of lapwing, curlew, redshank, green sandpiper, wood sandpiper (at the Ken Barret Hide on 7/10/19), snipe, dunlin, ruff and ringed plover

  Green sandpiper by Ian Plume

Water rail have also been showing well. 

Some of the summer visitors are still here with swallows whizzing overhead - but we are also welcoming the autumn arrivals with about 50 redwing.

The Photographic Hide has really come into its own after several weeks of keeping the feeders stocked (thank you to the lovely volunteers who have been looking after it!). 

There has been chiffchaff, chaffinch, greenfinch, goldfinch, blue tit, great tit, robin, collared dove, dunnock, green woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker, grey wagtail and squirrels!

  Great spotted woodpecker by John Humble 

  Chiffchaff by John Ferguson

  Great tit by Jim Willett

  Sparrowhawk by John Ferguson

John Humble, who used the hide recently, said that he "really enjoyed being able to photograph the birds in such close proximity. Certainly no need for a big lens, any of the following would be suitable-70-200, 70-300, 100-400." That's good to know - thank you John!

The hide can be hired for a day or half day, or you could spend some time with the experts and get some photographic tuition. All the details can be seen here (it's a blog from August, but the details are all still correct)

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Wild Families at Halloween Half Term

We are getting ready for the half term. 

Over the October half term you can keep the kids happy with pond dipping and minibeasting on Tuesday 22-Thursday 24 and Tuesday 29-Thursday 31 October. You can spend the day discovering Rainham Marshes - enjoy our family activities, hire an explorer bag, play in the adventure playground, enjoy lunch or a snack in our cafe, and browse in our shop – as well as going pond dipping!

To find out all the details including times, and prices have a look here

  Jesper Mattias (rspb-images.com)

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Youth Day - an event for 12-18 year olds

During the half term there is a day of activities one for the committed young naturalists. This event is led by young people for young people. Join other who share your interests for a relaxed day of activities including a guided walk, talks and presentations, pond invertebrate survey and a quiz.

Suitable for unaccompanied 12-18 year olds. It's free and includes a complimentary lunch - booking is required see here for more details. 

  David McHugh (rspb-images.com)

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Let Nature Sing - the takeover is coming

We are also preparing for the Let Nature Sing Takeover (you can read the blog here). On 17 October 2019 we want birdsong to be playing around the country! We want to get bird song everywhere, from workplaces to living rooms, and send a chirruping, chirping message to tell people in power we don’t want bird song to disappear. You can listen in to the Birdsong Radio here. 

Don’t let nature’s music stop #LetNatureSing  rspb.org.uk/letnaturesing

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Anonymous