• September to October

    Bowers Marsh still holds most of the birds reported.

    Around 700 Wigeon, 2 Pintail, a Marsh Harrier, several Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Kingfisher, all three types of hirundine Sand Martin, Swallow and House Martin, Whinchat, Stonechat and Wheatear.

    The Cattle Egrets were still on Vange Wick, visible from Wat Tyler Marina

    • 3 Oct 2019
  • Late September

    A quiet period with the interest still mainly on Bowers Marsh.

    Bowers Marsh

    The Spotted Crake has still been showing on occasions but often for brief forays out of the reeds. Other birds of interest are Whinchat, several Pintail, a Water Rail and several Bearded Reedlings. A Willow Emerald damselfly has also been reported.

    Vange Wick

    There have been sightings of a Great White Egret as seen from the marina end of Wat Tyler…

    • 26 Sep 2019
  • Mid September

    Due to the very low water levels only Bowers Marsh has held any birds of note. 

    Observers have reported Marsh Harrier, Ruff, Green Sandpiper, over 40 Stock Dove, a couple of Ravens, Pochard, Hobby, over 40 Avocet. a Kingfisher, a short visit by 2 Spoonbill, some Pintail, a Water Rail around 300 Wigeon, a Barn Owl and some Whitchat. The big rarity has been a Spotted Crake that has been wandering in and out of the reeds…

    • 19 Sep 2019
  • The end of August

    The highlights of the last few days have been up to 8 Cattle Egrets in the area mostly on RSPB Vange Wick which can be viewed from the marina on Wat Tyler Country Park south of Pitsea.

    Most of the rest of the sightings have been sent in from Bowers Marsh. On the water or islands have been Wigeon, Pintail, Spotted Redshank, Common and Green Sandpipers and Black-tailed Godwits. Birds flying or in the bushes have included…

    • 3 Sep 2019
  • Mid August

    Although many observers have been up to Rutland Water for the Birdfair there were still a number of good sightings reported in South Essex.

    West Canvey Marsh

    A good mixture of  birds have been seen on West Canvey. An Egyptian Goose has dropped in for a visit and a Tree Pipit has been reported. Among the more normal sightings have been; Green Sandpiper, Cetti's Warbler, Ringed Plover, Swift and House Martin. There have…

    • 22 Aug 2019
  • Bowers Marsh and West Canvey Marsh towards mid August

    West Canvey Marsh

    The marsh has been fairly quiet but a number of raptors have been sighted. Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Hobby.On the water the main sightings were Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Wood Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper.

    Bowers Marsh

    Bowers Marsh has been more productive. Marsh Harrier, Buzzard and Kestrel have been hunting in the air. Down on the water and water's edge sightings have included Water…

    • 15 Aug 2019
  • Sightings for early August

    Bowers Marsh

    A lot has been going on on Bowers Marsh for the keen-eyed observer. Among the dragonflies and damselflies there have been Emperor and Southern Migrant Hawker. Several species of Emerald Damselfly have been reported; Emerald, Scarce Emerald and Willow EmeraldSmall Red Damselflies have also been seen.

    On the water or water's edge have been Garganey, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, and Wood Sandpiper, Little…

    • 8 Aug 2019
  • The end of July on Bowers Marsh

    All the action in south Essex has been on Bowers Marsh this week.

    The best insects reported have been Southern Migrant Hawker Dragonflies, Scarece Emerald Damselflies and Brown Argus Butterflies.

    Most of the birds of interest have been on the water. Common, Green and Wood Sandpipers have been recorded. Three Garganey were seen on one of the islands on the fresh water scrape and several Little Ringed Plover were seen around the…

    • 1 Aug 2019
  • Recent Sightings up to 23 July

    West Canvey Marsh

    The sunny weather has meant the several people have been observing the birds. In the bushes there have been Goldfinch and Greenfinch. Skylarks have been singing in the air and Reed Buntings sitting up in the reeds. On the water Little Grebe, Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit have been the main birds and finally Marsh Harriers have bee see hunting over the reserve.

    Bowers Marsh

    Bowers continues to be the most…

    • 25 Jul 2019
  • South Essex Sightings up to 18 July

    West Canvey Marsh

    Although there isn't a lot going on on the marsh the Avocets continue to look after their chicks although they are becoming more independent now. The Black-tailed Godwits are still showing off their summer plumage. A Peregrine has been seen looking for prey. There are plenty of butterflies mostly Marbled White, Meadow Brown and Peacock.

    Bowers Marsh

    Bowers is the busiest reserve. The Swallows are charging…

    • 18 Jul 2019
  • Sightings on the South Essex Marshes up to 11 July

    Bowers Marsh

    The Black-necked Grebes and chicks continue to be see, Sand Martins and Swallows are catching their aerial prey. Also seen in the air are Swifts and a Buzzard. On the water have been Little Ringed Plover and an Egyptian Goose. In the bushes both Yellowhammer and Yellow Wagtail have been dazzling while the duller Whitethroat and Grasshopper Warbler have been singing.

    West Canvey Marsh

    All three hirundines…

    • 11 Jul 2019
  • Sightings June into July

    Bowers Marsh

    The sky has been filled with Swift, Swallow and House Martin hawking for prey. On the fresh water lagoon there have been over 100 Avocet with Shelduck and Oystercatcher among them while the Black-necked Grebe continue to be seen on occasions.

    Vange Marsh

    Although the water levels are low Marsh Harrier have been searching for prey. A Spotted Redshank has been seen in all its glory of summer plumage with the…

    • 4 Jul 2019
  • Sightings up to 25 June

    The reserves are now host to numerous butterflies. On Bowers Marsh there are Small Skipper. Essex Skipper, Large Skipper, Painted Lady Meadow Brown, Small Tortoiseshell and Marbled White.

    Marbled White by David Lee


     Small Skipper by David Lee                                                     

    Small Tortoise by David Lee

    The dragonflies have started to emerge with Black-tailed Skimmer, Emperor and Broad-bodied Chaser flying vigorously.


    • 27 Jun 2019
  • Bowers Marsh up to 20 June

    There are still plenty of birds around the reserve. Chicks have been seen for Avocet, Oystercatcher, Lapwing and Whitethroat. Swallows and House Martins have been catching insects on the wing. Both Great Crested and Little Grebes have been cruising round the fresh water lagoon while Little Ringed Plovers were probing round the water's edge. Birds recognised by their song were Cuckoo and Cetti's Warbler.

    • 20 Jun 2019
  • Sightings on the South Essex Marshes for the week up to 12 June

    Bowers Marsh continues to home one Black-necked Grebe. Hirundines have been represented by both Barn Swallows and House Martins. The male Cuckoos are still calling but can be difficult to see. On the water the Avocets and Lapwings have chicks independently walking around while the Little Ringed Plovers are still searching around on the water edges for food.

    On West Canvey some Stoats were seen unsuccessfully hunting Water…

    • 13 Jun 2019
  • Sightings in South Essex for the first week in June

    The birds have been busy looking after their young as they start their new lives.

    On West Canvey the Coot chicks have been seen with their parents. The Reed Warblers have bee singing in the reed beds while the Skylarks have been making their presence known in the air. On the water the ducks have been represented by Shovelers, Shelducks, Tufted ducks and Pochards. There have also been large number of Mute Swans reaching…

    • 6 Jun 2019
  • What's on Bowers Marsh?

    Don't forget that the RSPB volunteers run a monthly walk around Bowers Marsh to see what wildlife is about. It happens on the second Sunday of each month at 10:00, except May when there are special Dawn Chorus walks instead. To book ring the RSBP Visitor Centre on 01268 498620.

    • 30 May 2019
  • May Sightings on the Marshes

    It has been a time of new life and some special visitors this month.  Bowers Marsh has been visited by a Whooper Swan, a male Ring-necked Duck and several Black-necked Grebes. This borought a flurry of birders in at the beginning of the month. The Ring-necked Duck was elusive at times either on the far side of the fresh water lagoon or fast asleep with its head tucked in making identification tricky. However it did come…

    • 30 May 2019
  • South Essex Visitor Centre Closing

    We are very sad to announce that at the end of May the RSPB South Essex Visitor Centre based in Wat Tyler Country Park will be closing. Our last day will be the 25 and 26 May 2019.

    In recent years, we have seen a drop in the number of people visiting the centre and after giving this much consideration, we feel that closing the Visitor Centre is the right thing to do. As we continue on our mission to save nature with partners…

    • 13 May 2019
  • Recycled sculpture celebrates transformation of former industrial site

    Explaining the recently installed Dragonfly sculpture, installed to celebrate the partnership working together on Canvey Wick and the changing landscape the site has experienced over the past few decades.
    • 16 Dec 2018
  • Reed Gone Mad!

    So… water levels should be at their lowest point this time of year, perfect to make life a walk in the park (or should that be walk on the reserve), for our wardens and volunteers to cut back all that annoying encroaching reed that can spoil those beautiful sightlines across the South Essex reserves lagoons, which has become particularly bad at Vange Marsh this year.

    Not so though! What should have been a pleasant…

    • 1 Nov 2018
  • An explosion of Orchids at Canvey Wick

    Canvey Wick Nature reserve may be more known for its importance to invertebrate life and its brownfield oil refinery roots, but what is special about the reserve does not end there. This brownfield reserve is special for other types of wildlife too, from whitethroats singing in the scrub, the distinctive sound of warblers in the reeds, to the occasional sighting of a green or great-spotted woodpecker, the reserve comes…

    • 8 Sep 2018
  • Water Voles on the South Essex Reserves

    Assistant Warden Susy Jones talks about her work with water voles across the South Essex Reserves:

    As Summer approaches its end, my mind turns to getting the last water vole surveys of the year done. Our reserves in South Essex are a stronghold for this rare and endangered mammal, so we carry out dedicated surveys to monitor their presence and number, in April and September. It’s been a dramatic year so far in nature…

    • 23 Aug 2018
  • Wild Wednesdays on West Canvey Marsh this Summer!

    Once again this year we will be running our Wild Wednesdays with the chance for your Wild Things to explore the ditches and grassy areas of West Canvey Marsh in search for creepy crawlies.  Last year despite the rain, each Wednesday we ran the event turned up something new including water scorpion,  dragonfly nymph and a smooth newt as well great views of wasp spiders along the ditch edge.


    The activities you are able…

    • 11 Jul 2018
  • Photography Competition time for Canvey Island Wildlife day 2018

    Excited to announce that once again, the RSPB and Canvey Town Council are running Canvey Island Wildlife day on the 26 May 2018.  

    Along with the Wildlife day we will be running the Essex Wildlife Photography Competition which is, as always, free to enter. 

    Have you got what it takes to enter a winning shot?



    We had some fantastic entries last year…

    • 12 Apr 2018