Robyn was one of the people that went along to the river clean up event and she wanted to share some information about the event. Take it away Robyn:
Robyn here. On 25 November I attended the Concrete Barges foreshore clean up event arranged by Gray's Beachcombers and Thames21.
Thames21 is the voice for London’s waterways, working with communities to improve rivers and canals for people and wildlife.
On 25 November we went over to the concrete barges to clean up the area of foreshore - this area gets a lot of rubbish washed up from the capital.
The event was great, hopefully these clean-ups will become more regular (next one on Saturday 13 January).
Here is some numbers for you: 38 volunteers in 3 hours filled around 100 bags of litter and two larger bags collecting 4350 PLASTIC BOTTLES (amazing but very sad). The last clean-up was in September so these have washed up in just a few months.
We had around 5 people getting to the site by either walking, running and cycling so great effort for those people!! We would like to continually support these groups running these days, we were extremely lucky with the weather (although for a short while I couldn't feel my fingers) and it really felt like we made a difference.
It was a huge effort by all the volunteers that took part - thank you all! Thames21 have sent this information on what we picked to Parliament to hopefully raise concerns over single use plastic usage in the capital.
If you are interested in getting involved in the next one, and in particular if you are interested in cycling/running/walking to the event it would be great to have you along so please email me on email@example.com for more information.
I wanted to let you know something that is coming soon!
As of Saturday 9 December 2017 you have the chance to hire out the brand new photographers hide!
We have a purpose built hide allowing close views of feeding woodland birds. There is a feeding station in the area to attract birds and a number of natural perches so you can get some lovely shots!
John Humble has taken these pictures of a great tit and goldfinch in the last few days in the area! There has been lots of finches, tits and other birds showing nicely!
Pictures by John Humble
When: hiring available during opening hours December – March. Launching on 9 December 2017.
Opening times: Full day (9.45 am-4.15 pm) or half day (9.45 am-1 pm or 1-4.15 pm) hire available.
Pricing: Half day £25 (20 for RSPB members), or full day £35 (£28 for RSPB members). Entry to the reserve is included in the price.
Want to get more out of your visit? Enquire about photography tuition (not included in the price).
Procedure: booking and payment in advance required. To book or for more details contact the reserve on 01708 899851.
If you are interested you can call us 01708 899840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more detail or to book your slot!
The ongoing work to re-profile the various scrapes and rills has also presented Ian the digger driver to clear out and improve the view from the Ken Barrett Hide once again.
This was carried out on Friday the 17th and by that afternoon it was already attracting in the birds to the newly exposed muddy margins and islands. It has become the place to spend time in the last ten days and has afforded visitors the opportunity top get much closer views that usual of some of our regular species.
Water Pipits - at least three different birds have been visiting- Russ Sherriff
Pied Wagtail - Several have been showing on the pools and like to perch up on the Kingfisher sticks - Jim Willett
Stonechats use the fenceline and reedmace heads as lookouts for insects on the mud... John Humble
This one is the male... Bill Moss
Carrion Crows are opportunistic scavengers - Lee Wakefield
Up to five Little Egrets have been in catching sticklebacks - Mark Vale
And sometimes coughing them back up when they get stuck - Bob Cooper
Four Ruff of varying sizes have been coming nice and close - John Humble
Ruff and Lapwing - Bill Moss
And irridescent Lapwings - Bill Moss
Along with cryptic Snipe - No bobbing Jack Snipe have been seen yet - John Humble
So wrap up, come along and enjoy the view regardless of the weather!
And highlights from yesterday across the reserve - shame the Snow Bunting did not linger