Visit to Rainham Marshes
Birds, frogs, bees, teasels, Javelin train HS1, lizards…….. but no coffee!!
On Saturday 12 September myself, Cathy, Richard, Madeleine, Phil and Trev spent a few sunny hours wandering around the RSPB reserve at Rainham Marshes in Purfleet, armed with lunch, drinks and facemasks!.
Although this is an RSPB reserve, as well as birds we saw a lot of other animals and insects which made it an interesting visit. We saw at least 5 greenish brown lizards basking in the sun all in different places. I counted 12 different birds with a query as to whether we saw a Peregrine or not. We heard and saw Marsh frogs, which were very well hidden in the weed in the waterways. There were also a few damselflies flying above waterways and around us, with the occasional common white butterfly fluttering over the hedgerows.
You would think in an RSPB reserve you would only see birds but apart from the other wildlife we saw various forms of transport, with the railway line for Eurostar, C2C and the Javelin train HS1 running very near to the reserve. It is quite bizarre in that you can look in one direction and see this wonderful wildlife area with reedbeds, waterways, trees, various foliage and then turn around in the other direction and you see huge electric pylons that buzz above you, not to mention the remains of the firing ranges left over from when the area was used by the military.
We had a very relaxed time wandering around to see what we could find. Even though much of the reserve was overgrown and some areas still not open to the public, we had a good time. After months of being left without staff or volunteers to carry out conservation work the reeds and foliage had taken over.
The visitor centre and café at the reserve is not open yet so we were not able to have a coffee at the beginning of the walk or a well earned afternoon cuppa and cake at the end! When seeking out the toilets we had to be careful as we walked around the outside of the visitor centre as there was a bees nest just above our heads with very active bees flying around!. It was well worth the visit on such a lovely day.
Ann W. 13th September 2020