Here are some of the wildlife highlights from the week so far:

Whimbrel have been seen every day - either on Aveley Bay or flying over.

A cattle egret has been around for about three days - around the Purfleet scrape following the cattle. There are a few little egrets around as well - keep an eye out for the yellow bill of the cattle egret. On Thursday 2 May we also had a great white egret over on the Target Pools.

Some of the waders include avocet, lapwing, oystercatcher, ringed and little ringed plover (Target Pools), redshank, greenshank (Target Pools), a very dark ruff (Target Pools), snipe and a wood sandpiper (Target Pools).

Avocet by Andy Hibbard

A pink footed goose has been seen on 1 and 2 May in the middle of Aveley Marsh.

The bearded tit's have been showing around the reserve - including near the Shooting Butts Hide and Marshland Discovery Zone. 

Bearded tit by Andy Reid

This bearded tit seems to have gotten in a bit of a barny at some point - picture by Steve Cullum

The odd sand martin, swift, and hobby have been flying over.

The sedge warbler, reed warbler, white throat, lesser white throat, and cuckoo (and lots more too!) have been singing away all over the reserve.  (There are still spaces on Rainham Marshes' Dawn Chorus Walks on Sunday 5 and 12 May if you would like to experience the magic of dawn yourself - for more details go here.)

Cuckoo by Andy Reid

With the nice weather lots of other wildlife has been seen... including common lizard, water vole, and stoat.

Stoat by Andy Hibbard. If you are interested you can tell the difference between a stoat and a weasel by remembering that a stoat has a black tip to the tail.

Visitor John Ferguson took a walk along the river wall section of the reserve to the Serin Mound and over the Veolia section, and saw: 23 peacock, 18 green veined white, 21 small white, 3 small tortoiseshell, 2 orange tip, 1 brimstone and a surprise 1 small copper butterfly

Green veined white by John Ferguson

Andy Reid has been taking pictures of some of the smaller residents of the reserve:

This is a dark bush cricket in its nymph stage. It has no wings so is probably less than a week old. It will go through several development stages (instars) until reaching adulthood. Its main purpose is to be food for bigger crickets. Check out the Cordite Store and Wildlife Garden. By Andy Reid.

By Andy Reid

By Andy Reid

Starting today all 12.75 KG sacks of Bird Seed and Peanuts have 20% off for the Bank Holiday weekend, ending on Monday 6th May.
There is also the 30% off all 3KG Bags of Suet Sprinkles and Nibbles currently available..... This offer is running until Wednesday 22nd May. So come and visit Annie and Barb in the Shop and help us to help nature.

Over the weekend (4-6 May) we are also having an optics event. If you are looking for a pair of binoculars or a telescope come along over the Bank Holiday event and get hands on experience of our range of Light weight travels scopes and range of binoculars - including the Leica trinovid BCA, Nikon Travelite EX, Viking Badgers, and RSPB Compact, Rambler and the Compact HD ranges. As usual our ranges of full size Swarovski, Zeiss, Leica, Viking and RSPB scopes, binoculars and accessories will be available.

Someone will be on hand to offer assistance if you need some guidance or have any questions.