Rainham – always worth a visit

IMG_3356

I arrived at Rainham Marshes RSPB nature reserve before the drawbridge came down. It’s an interesting way to protect your building from vandalism.  I was struck by the fact that the first time I went to Rainham Marshes, when RSPB were negotiating its purchase, it seemed to be the preferred dumping ground for burned out cars – it looks pretty gentrified now!

The view from the centre is quite spectacular in its own way – right next to The Thames…

IMG_3357

…with Eurostars speeding past, planes constantly overhead and plenty of traffic noise…

IMG_3358

…but even before I left the car park I had heard Lapwings and Redshanks calling away and adding their voices to the Wood Pigeons and Collared Doves.

There were lots of waders which clearly had chicks and many well-grown young Lapwings. It looked like it had been a very successful breeding season again – the fence clearly keeps out foxes as well as vandals.

My companion pointed out a Water Vole at the usual place and we watched it for a while. Further down the path, near the old shooting butts (no, not to be occupied, these were for target practice when the site was owned by the MoD), I heard the characteristic ‘ping!’ of Bearded Tits and we saw several young birds  in the reeds. If you had told me when I was Findlay Wilde’s age that I would see Bearded Tits inside the M25 I would have said, first, ‘What’s the M25?’ because it hadn’t been built, and then, ‘Really? I thought they just lived in nature reserves in East Anglia like Cley and Minsmere’.

A bit further on we watched an adult male Bearded Tit going to and from a nest – he was very busy.  The female wasn’t working anything like as hard.

But it was a female Kingfisher that we saw really well, with a fish in her beak (orange lower mandible gives her gender away).

The Reed Warblers were singing well but the Sedge Warblers had largely shut up  – although as soon as I said that, of course, a Sedge started singing.

IMG_3363

We looked through this grassland for Wasp Spiders but didn’t find any – I bet there were lots. However, lunch was calling so we headed back to the centre.  I recommend the brie and cranberry panini  – the raviola was pretty hot in a chili sort of way, I gather.

We had a smashing time at Rainham. I always do. It is a gem, for real birders, casual birdwatchers, nature lovers and people looking for a good snack as they pass close by on the roads. And all inside the M25!

 

 

 

 

Likes(46)Dislikes(1)
Website Pin Facebook Twitter Myspace Friendfeed Technorati del.icio.us Digg Google StumbleUpon Premium Responsive

Get email notifications of new blog posts

Registration confirmation will be emailed to you.


1 Reply to “Rainham – always worth a visit”

  1. Mark -
    Thanks for the recommendation. Paid my first visit to Rainham today. Brilliant. Loads of bearded tits, and my best view EVER of a kingfisher, eating a fish in full view less than a metre from my left knee. Not so far from my right knee either.

    Likes(2)Dislikes(0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.