I forgot to take any scenic pics of Rainham, so apologies for that. For those who don't know, this is a newish RSPB reserve by the Thames in the grotty heart of east London. The RSPB have turned a rough (in all senses of the word) bit of neglected former army training ground into a lush and thriving reserve of grazing marsh with shallow lakes and deep, reedy ditches. Of course, everywhere you look there are pylons, flyovers and other urban landmarks, but don't look too far and you'll just see flowers and water and wildlife.
Having said all that, it was a rather quiet day. We just walked the reserve trail rather than the river path, being knackered from aikido, so missed the chance of interesting birds on the Thames. However, what we did see on the reserve was quality stuff.
Rainham has a super-swanky visitor centre, and now also the swankiest hide I've ever seen. On two levels, it is spacious, comfy, has lighting (and, I suppose, heating), comfy and easily moveable seats and windows with a top and bottom glass panel that slide open independently. On view is a marshy soggy area that is probably going to be great in winter, though today there wasn't much to see apart from Gadwalls, Teals, Shovelers, a Little Egret or two and a lot of geese.
My lens/teleconverter decided to violently misbehave about now, and I couldn't take more photos. The cute Fox was by now right in front of the hide, and too close for my 420mm anyway, but I would have liked a frame-filling pic of his beautiful eyes.
On the drive out, we saw a Hobby. Bird of the day, even though it was only glimpsed through the car window.