Welcome to Rainham International; The avian hub of the Thames Estuary
Rainham International, situated alongside the Thames on the eastern edge of London, is probably the best connected avian hub in the urban south east.
Thousands and thousands of flights arrive and depart every season, from as far away as Rwanda or Lake Chad in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as from closer destinations like the Mediterranean and Scandinavia.
From now and right through to the end of this year, we’re able to offer you access to remarkable views of the finest flying machines and best livery of the world’s most travelled wildlife at the busy avian hub that is Rainham International; most possibly the migratory world’s favourite Thames Estuary destination.
Pass through security, get your boarding pass and check the big screens in the visitor centre for up-to-date news on arrivals, departures and flyways. While waiting to greet incoming flights, or having waved goodbye to departing friends, take advantage of our high altitude café on the first floor where you can enjoy a cuppa and a piece of homemade cake overlooking the many marshland runways and the extensive wildlife accommodation.
Rainham International Stewards or Stewardesses will be on hand to explain the busy flight schedules and the importance of Rainham and the Thames Estuary for the many wild and seasonal travellers. We have spectator lounges conveniently located around our avian airport, where you can experience the thrill of watching skilled fliers coming in to land or practising their aerial skills.
We’ve special family adventure packages over some weekends where you discover how to host and support migratory visitors at home. Full details are published on our website www.rspb.org.uk/rainham. Don’t forget to check the duty free table and our ground floor shop for all your gifts ideas and bird essentials.
Come fly with us at Rainham International.
Until the end of the year we will have a Rainham International theme here at the reserve. Every year Rainham acts as an 'airport' for migrating birds; our location along the Thames makes the reserve an important stopping place for wildlife to feed, and rest until carrying on their journey. We want to celebrate the remarkable journey made every year.
Keep an eye out for special Rainham International theme events, information, and blogs. Don't forget to pop over to Rainham International and see the 'airport' and how we've decorated the airport! Ooh - have a closer look at the duty free...
The Wednesday Walk came up trumps today and found an exhausted immature Arctic Skua on the Tudor Seawall. I zoomed down the wall and added it to my Rainham yearlist as well! First time I have seen one on the deck here. I suspect that it is an overland victim of the Storm on Monday and even though it is unsteady on its legs hopefully it will regain a little strength and head back out of the Thames.
Peter Hale let me have a look through his scope and so I had a go at phone scoping......
Not bad at all if you ask me!
and a little bit of video from Part Hart...
Got these shots of one of two Carrion Crows that were investigating the Woodland Feeders the other day. Such intelligent creatures and like most corvids they are unjustly much maligned.
They were checking them out to see if there was anyway into the main feeder and on realising that the top was off, they peered inside but were a little cautious and spent a few minutes making sure before carefully and slowly stretching in to pick up a single peanut. It was almost as if it was booby trapped.
Later another one came down with a crust and dunked it a few times to soften it before wolfing it down and in recent days I have seen they carrying off Walnuts to bury for later in the year. Would love to know if they drop them from a height to break them open like coastal Crows (and gulls) do with Mussels?
Bob Cooper got some great shots of a Rook flying over with a crop full of acorns and another in its bill; like the Crow, off to bury an autumnal harvest for the lean times ahead.