Hello and welcome to the Elmley Marshes RSPB Reserve blog. This is a new concept for Elmley, and I will endeavour to make my posts interesting, informative and entertaining. We want you to be able to find out what’s been going on, what’s been seen and what we’ve been up to, at the click of a button. Blogging isn’t new to me, but Elmley is. You can explore this reserve as I do, from a fresh perspective.


So, I should introduce myself… I’m Natalie, the new Assistant Warden at Elmley Marshes. My first week’s involved a lot of learning! I’ve been shown the ropes by Gordon, the Warden here and my manager. Management from our office isn’t just restricted to Elmley, it incorporates Capel Fleet Raptor Viewpoint, Harty Marshes and Great Bells Farm on the Isle of Sheppey. We also manage an area of land at Seasalter near Whitstable. All this land makes quite a lot to take in and find one’s feet with. My first few days involved tours of these sites, getting kitted up for work on the reserve, meeting and working with my volunteers and getting my first taste of working with the livestock here.


Birds today were lying low sheltering from the wind and the spattering of rain the reserve received. Despite this, there were over 50 black-tailed godwits on the Flood, along with ringed plovers, redshanks, lapwings, shelducks and pochards amongst others.


Other wildlife highlights this week included two spoonbills and a female eider (yes, really) on the Flood on 28/5. There were also pairs of wigeon, teal, pintail and pochard on the Flood on 27/5, and we watched a stoat swim across a ditch in front on South Fleet Hide! There seem to be plenty of Mediterranean gulls around and a few little terns flying over the reserve.


If you visit the reserve at this time of year, you will still see many lapwings sitting on nests, with young or the fledged juveniles themselves. Lapwing nest monitoring by our trusty volunteers is going well. Yesterday (28/5) saw the 60th nest of 2010 recorded, with nine nests still active. Our avocet population also seems to be doing well, with many adults alarming where they have chicks hidden in the long vegetation. Some are still sitting on nests and can be seen from the hides around the Flood. There are also plenty of redshanks breeding, though you might be lucky to see them sitting on their nests.