I've not been able to up-date the blog recently, so think a quick up-date as to what's been seen on the reserve is in order.
Highlights over the weekend included a report of a short-eared owl on Saturday, with both little & barn owls being seen at Kingshill Farm. 2 merlin and 2 peregrine were present on Sunday. On Monday, 2 merlins were again present, this time joining forces to pursue an unfortunate meadow pipit over the marsh behind Kingshill Farm. Unfortunately, it was quite late in the day and I only had a pair of binoculars with me, so I wasn't able to see for definite if the pipit ended up as supper, or lived to fly another day. Yesterday, I had another late falcon moment, when a peregrine flew across the access track in the evening, scattering a flock of lapwing & curlew. I could see that the falcon was carrying prey, so the waders were safe on this occasion.
Today, a flock of c.50 barnacle geese appeared on the Flood first thing. Unfortunately, within the flock were quite a few emperor geese, so these birds will all be feral. Curiously, it was about this time last year that a flock of 55 barnacle geese + emperors arrived on the reserve. I'm not sure where they originate from, but Elmley seems to now be on their "migration" route. Other highlights today were a male & female hen harrier, merlin, 4 bearded tits in reeds along the track from the reserve carpark, 4 stonechats and a grey partridge at the beginning of the access track