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World gull experts flock to Rainham gull mine

22 february 2013

RSPB Rainham Marshes nature reserve and Veolia’s Rainham landfill to host THE ultimate gull ID

For the next two days, the Veolia Environmental Services’ Rainham landfill and Rainham Marshes nature reserve will undoubtedly be the envy of many a gull interested birdwatcher. 

A sold out two day gull ID event, jointly presented by RSPB Rainham Marshes and Veolia Rainham landfill,  will bring a small crowd of lucky birders up, close and personal with a varied palette of UK wintering gulls… and they will be in good company.

The event will be hosted by leading world experts on gulls, Klaus Malling Olsen, author of the “bible” Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America and Dominic Mitchell, publisher of Birdwatch Magazine and finder of the UK’s first slaty-backed gull (which coincidentally was found on Veolia’s Rainham landfill).

Together Klaus and Dominic will head a number of sessions dealing with the who’s who of the many species of gulls found on the landfill site. This is in itself rather unique as the site is not normally open to the public. It will be possible to get very close to the thousands of gulls flocking here in their search for food and the experts will talk participants through the various species and give hints and tips on how to tell the different species and races apart.

Keith McGurk, Veolia Environmental Services’ regional director, commented: “Biodiversity can often be found right on our doorsteps in some unusual locations and we actively encourage Rainham landfill as a haven for wildlife.  We believe this event provides a great opportunity for the RSPB to increase its specialist knowledge of wintering gulls and strengthen Rainham’s position on the ornithological map.”

Martin Holm, Visitor & Publicity Officer at Rainham Marshes is equally pleased: “I am very happy to be working together with Veolia’s Rainham landfill on this exciting event. Being neighbours –we’re both sitting on London’s eastern boundary alongside the River Thames - this is a great opportunity to join forces and offer visitors to Rainham Marshes an extra special encounter with wildlife, Martin Holm says and continues: “It is my hope that an event like this will make even more people aware of the amazing wildlife Rainham Marshes is boasting and will want to come back and see more.” 

The landfill session will be followed by a special ID presentation by Klaus Malling Olsen back at the Rainham Marshes visitor centre