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Elmley Marshes

Elmley Marshes
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Results for black-tailed godwit, peregrine
  • Blog Post: A deadly hunter

    Dare I say it was almost a bit "samey" on the reserve today? Two little stint, a spotted redshank, a few black-tailed godwit and a green sandpiper on the Flood? Check. Raptors- Peregrine, buzzard, merlin, marsh harrier? Check. Nah! Let's face it - that's a pretty decent days...
  • Blog Post: it's curlew sand-tastic

    Most of yesterdays taiga sandpipers had moved on today - only a few green sandpipers & no reports of wood sandpiper at all. However these were replaced by a flock of high Arctic breeders as 46 curlew sandpipers appeared on the Flood at high tide. These were all juveniles, so it looks as though curlew...
  • Blog Post: Snow bunting

    The single female snow bunting was still present at it's favoured patch by Swale hide today (22nd). But while we're welcoming our winter visitors, don't forget that there are still summer birds heading south: also around the reserve today a swallow, a wheatear and a chiffchaff. A ring...
  • Blog Post: 10th September

    I thought I'd let one of the Elmley regulars, Sean Huggins summarise the days sightings, courtesy of a posting on the Kent Ornithological Society's website - he spent more time on the reserve than me y/day! "Another excellent wader session at Elmley over the big spring tide yesterday...
  • Blog Post: 14th August

    An adult little stint was new on the Flood today, while the adult curlew sandpiper remains, but was particularly elusive. Other waders included 26 dunlin, 8 spotted redshank, 5 greenshank, 50 black-tailed godwit, 17 golden plover, 3 LRP & 4 ruff. Migrants around Kingshill Farm included willow...
  • Blog Post: 23rd March

    With light winds & sunny skies, I was quite hopeful that today would produce our first yellow wagtail or garganey of the year. Alas, I was disappointed, but the variety of raptors around today made up for it. Both male & ring-tail hen harrier were seen, along with a merlin, at least 3 buzzards...
  • Blog Post: The past week

    Having been away over the bank holiday at Spurn Bird Obs (am I the only person in the world not to have seen "that" dress?) and only now seeming to get 10 minutes to myself since my return, I thought it was about time that we had a bit of a catch up. The drought continues: there was 0.3mm...
  • Blog Post: Pezza vs. the ET

    WARNING: THIS BLOG CONTAINS IMAGES THAT SOME VIEWERS MAY FIND DISTRESSING I made a comment on the forum about the diversity of some birds of prey diets. Not so the peregrine. It's almost exclusively feeds on other birds, usually caught on the wing. According to Birds of the Western Palearctic...
  • Blog Post: More fun with cows

    Yesterday was awful. Wet, windy, yuk. I'd mentally prepared myself for a day in the office catching up with some paperwork, cd player on in the background, kettle on. Nice. And then the phone rang & it was our cattle grazier who wanted to come up to take the calves off for weaning. Did he know...
  • Blog Post: Garganey

    About time too! I've been looking out for our first garganey of the year for a couple of weeks now. This is our only summer migrant duck, the first birds arriving back in the UK from their African wintering grounds as early as Mid-March, although most push through later in April & May. The drakes...
  • Blog Post: spoonbill

    Two adult spoonbills on the Flood today, where there was also a flock of 45 black-tailed godwit and a single spotted redshank (another early returning migrant wader). A peregrine & a buzzard amongst the usual marsh harriers & kestrels, a little tern fishing in the ditches beside the track down...
  • Blog Post: It's goose-mongous, mate

    For anyone out there with a penchant for flocks of honkers, Elmley is the place to be at the moment. I am of course referring to geese - not necessarily all wild, but there are a lot here at the moment, both in numbers and varieties. I counted 7 types this afternoon, and possibly missed at least one...
  • Blog Post: a life on the ocean wave

    A change from Elmley today. As part of the ongoing monitoring of important bird populations in the Medway & Swale estuaries, the RSPB carries out bird counts on the Medway that go towards the British Trust for Ornithology's We tland B ird S urvey (WeBS). In order to cover the many off-shore islands...
  • Blog Post: Shepherding

    Our sheep grazier rang yesterday to let me know that he was bringing up his rams to the reserve today (next years lambs!) and that the flock of tegs ( last years lambs) were due their inoculations. So it was out on the quad this morning to drive the 213 tegs off the Flood and into the pens. They've...
  • Blog Post: 11th June

    Still 3 spoonbills on the Flood at Elmley today. Also single little stint & spotted redshank, 48 black-tailed godwit & a drake wigeon. A green sandpiper at Kingshill Farm + peregrine, hobby & barn owl.
  • Blog Post: Pectoral sandpiper

    The first rare of the autumn was found at Counterwall hide this afternoon. An adult pectoral sandpiper arrived in the company of a couple of ruff & stuck around, often showing very well right in front of the hide. Pec's are usually regarded as "Yanks", but their breeding range extends...
  • Blog Post: "Go, Cows!"

    A busy day on the reserve today, with the grazier coming in to pick up the last of his cattle, so we were out first thing to get them into the pens, ready for the lorry to arrive. We may bring in some other animals, just to "tickle" the sward a bit, but there's not much cow food left. Still...
  • Blog Post: 11th September

    The high tide roost at Elmley today saw 24 curlew sandpipers & 6 little stint, along with 193 dunlin, 3 spotted redshank, 2 ruff, 150 avocet, 5 bar-tailed & 25 black-tailed godwit, 2 turnstone, 200 ringed plover, 1 common & 3 green sandpiper & a greenshank. Raptors included a merlin,...
  • Blog Post: Here come the geese..

    Having predicted in y/day's blog the likely arrival of wild geese onto the reserve, it turns out that they've already started to arrive. I heard this morning that a flock of 10 white-fronted geese were out on the marsh between Kingshill Farm and the Flood yesterday, where there was also 3 pink...
  • Blog Post: 2nd August

    No sign today of Saturday's pectoral sandpiper, but wader numbers & variety continue to increase. High tide this evening saw the following waders on the reserve: 12 spotted redshank, 1 greenshank, 275 curlew, 4 whimbrel, 5 ruff, 105 black-tailed godwit, 1 bar-tailed godwit, 35 grey plover, 7...
  • Blog Post: Lapland bunting (13th Sep)

    Lapland buntings used to be a regular feature of Elmley in winter, with more or less annual records during the first 25 years from 1975-2000. But the frequency of records has declined recently, perhaps as a result of fewer birders being familiar with their distinctive "ticky-tick teew" flight...
  • Blog Post: 13th August

    The adult curlew sandpiper remains on the Flood today, again showing from Wellmarsh hide. Other waders around the hides included 20 spotted redshank, 1 greenshank, 6 ruff, 85 ringed plover, 2 LRP, 3 grey plover, 12 golden plover, 26 dunlin, 2 knot, 4 turnstone, 1 bar-tailed godwit, 56 black-tailed godwit...
  • Blog Post: Spoonbills again

    While I was out checking the livestock this afternoon, I flushed 2 spoonbills from the edge of the reservoir. Unfortunately, they headed off across the Swale in the direction of Oare Marshes, where they seem to have been seen more regularly just recently. This was the first record since the end of July...
  • Blog Post: Button it, Ginger..

    It's not every day that I add a new species to my Elmley list (I think you'd have to go back to the May 25th "double-whammy" of black-winged pratincole and hoopoe in 2009. Now that was a day...!); and even less often that I get to use the ever-so-slightly disparaging term for a red...
  • Blog Post: 16th January

    Of course, it was more or less inevitable... Having led y/days guided walk in dull, windy conditions and searched in vain for a peregrine sighting, today was nice & sunny, still a bit windy, though not too bad and the first bird I saw as I passed the orchard on my way down to the reserve today...