Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Went down to Rainham Marshes on an Area Team 'away day' to have a look at some of their management issues and share some ideas around visitors, environmental education and interpretation. Living and working on the edge of London is not my cup of tea but I pleasently surprised how 'rural' the reserve feels. having said that, you only have to look around and you realise where you are. The Thames is on your left, Eurostar line on the right, massive tip at the end and on a good day you can see the London Eye! The wet grassland habitat looks great at the moment with loads of water on. We had good numbers of wigeon, teal and lapwing. A 1st winter med and 2 adult little gulls were about but no large gulls. Green sand, little-ringed plover and peregrine were also seen but not a great deal else. After only hearing them last summer, it was nice to catch up with marsh frog (below). One thing I wanted to look at was how the new Butts hide was developing. The hide was designed by the same person as our Parrinder Hide and uses the same window and seat system. The first thing was how the wood has faded and blends into the surroundings. When we saw it last summer is was still orange like ours is now. Good news that Parrinder will soften in no time. The hide at the bottom also uses the large window design and is opening is a few week but unfortunatly we couldn't see in it. A few more spring migrants are now in. Highlight of the week so far were 3 red kite and 4 garganey on monday and at least 3 singing blackcap today.

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