April, 2015

Rainham Marshes

Rainham Marshes
Do you love our Rainham Marshes nature reserve? Share your thoughts with the community. Or if you're thinking about visiting and would like to find out more, ask away!

Rainham Marshes

  • Boats, Bugs and Birds - 30 April 2015


    How are you today?


    So I wanted to share some of the highlights form the last couple of days...


    HMS Defender sailed past the reserve on Tuesday....

      Picture by David Morrison



    The sun shine has brought out a variety of little creatures... The cordite store is one of my favorite places for looking for minibeasts...

    Here's a variety of creatures seen and snapped recently by Lawrence Rogers:
      A bee in the wildlife garden

      Green shield bugs

      A very nice looking shield bug - I'm not sure which one so I'm keeping vague!


      Rosemary beetle, in the rosemary in the wildlife garden/ at the front of the shop

     Wolf spider by Barry Jones

      Blue tailed damselfly by Jo Collins

    If you like your insects and would like to find out more you can come along to our Insect Afternoon on Saturday 9 May to get up close and personal with these fab creatures! Or if you are more interested in photographing these fabulous creatures did you know we have a free drop in photography coaching day on Sunday 24 May.



    And as for the birds.... well!


    There's been a Pectoral Sandpiper on the Target Pools yesterday and today!

    We've also had great views of Whinchat, Wheatear, Garganey (at the Target Pools), Marsh Harrier, Hobby, and Kingfisher...

      Picture by Joanne Gates

    Go back and look at the previous blogs if you haven't already - we've had some exciting Kingfisher news today!


    Another of our birdy highlights are Bearded Tits!  They've 'ping'ing and showing nicely from the Dragonfly Pools and the Northern Boardwalk...

    Check out these AWESOME shots by Mark Vale:

      Female bearded tit...

      Male bearded tit


    Stunning aren't they!

  • Kingfisher News... 30 April 2015

    Afternoon everyone,

    I hope that you are well.

    On the day that Rob Yorke is encouraging people to vote Kingfisher for Britain's National Bird, over on Martin Harper's blog - I am excited to announce that our Kingfishers have hatched!


    Adults start taking fish into the bank once that eggs have hatched, and that is what we have seen today!

    Each chick can eat 12-18 fish a day, and are fed in rotation - once a chick is fed, it moves to the back of the nest to digest it's meal, causing the others to move forward.



    The best time to see the kingfishers is when they are feeding young as they can be in and out every ten minutes or so (when they're a little bigger) bringing in fish for the hungry young. At the moment the chicks will be very small so can't eat too many fish, but they'll grow quickly and soon be eating lots!

    The chicks will stay tucked away safely in the bank for about 24-25 days, unless the fish supply is poor then it can be up to 37 days.


      Stunning picture by Duncan Eames

  • Have you Voted for Britain's National bird?

    Do you know who you are voting for?

    I thought I would borrow this guest blog by David Lindo the Urban Birder, from Martin Harper's blog... (I'm sure they won't mind)



    While the political parties continue to vie for your vote between now and 7 May, another poll is taking place - for our national bird.  This poll is being run by David Lindo, the Urban Birder, and over the next couple of weeks a champion for each species will outline via this blog why 'their' species deserves your vote.  It's a bit like a virtual hustings.  Today, David shares his motivation for running the poll and encourages you to register your vote.  So, if you need a distraction from the General Election, or indeed from voting for Bob, then please do take part in the vote for our national bird.


    The Vote National Bird Campaign was born in Oakington Manor Primary School, Wembley. I was a seven year-old kid staring out of my classroom window bored of study and instead, looking out for birds. I was crazy about wildlife even back then with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Sadly, my enthusiasm for all things animate was not one that was shared by the majority of my classmates. Indeed, many openly thought that I had a screw loose. Whilst gazing out of the window staring at a noisy throng of sparrows in some bushes, I had a light bulb moment – what bird would my classmates deem as their favourite? I quickly went about constructing a poll that resulted in the sparrow being the runaway victor. I was delighted, as at the time it was my favourite too.

    I promised myself at that tender age that when I grew up I would ask the same question again. Well, that day came two years ago when the idea flashed back into my head. After a bit of research I realised that embarrassingly, Britain did not have a national bird, but it did have a favourite bird in the guise of the robin – anointed via a newspaper poll in the early 60’s. I decided to embark on a campaign to get Britain voting for its first official national bird, alongside the general election.

    The first round of voting occurred from August through to November last year when the public was invited to vote on 60 quintessentially British birds. The 10 most popular birds made it through to a shortlist and are currently going beak-to-beak for the public vote. This second phase of voting started on March 16th and will run to May 7th – the other election day.

    Over 100,000 people have cast their votes for:


    Hen Harrier

    Red Kite



    Mute Swan


    Blue Tit


    Barn Owl

    The winner will be named later in May and crowned as Britain’s first official national bird and hopefully ratified by the incoming government as well as the Queen. But to my mind, every bird in Britain is a winner because my hope is that this campaign will get the good folk of Britain thinking more about the nation’s birds. And that cannot be a bad thing.

    David Lindo                                                               

    The Urban Birder                                                                

    April 2015      

    Make sure you vote - it's simple and quick, just go to http://www.votenationalbird.com/


    David is a friend of the reserve, and he'll be down to visit soon so keep your eyes pealed...