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Elmley Marshes

Elmley Marshes
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Results for hen harrier
  • Blog Post: 28th Nov

    We were fog-bound yesterday, so my wander around the reserve to check the livestock didn't reveal very much. The poor visibility was compounded by the fact that the water bodies had frozen, meaning that most of the waterfowl have abandoned the reserve for the Swale. I did see at least 500 wigeon...
  • Blog Post: Not Elmley

    A friend of mine came over to the island today to do a bit of winter birding. The recent cold snap has frozen the reserve, with the result that most of the bird interest stays outside the seawall on the Swale. As a result, we decided to head elsewhere today. First stop was the beach at Minster, on the...
  • 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: ..here's one I missed earlier

    Out bright & breezy this morning to check the livestock and to instruct our digger driver on the days jobs, I drove round the corner of the seawall at Swale hide & flushed a snow bunting from a small patch of saltmarshy vegetation near the hide. "Great! The first of the winter" I thought...
  • Blog Post: September update

    Time for another of my rather infrequent updates, as I STILL can't access the RSPB website from Elmley. We're still trying to fix the problem, but it's a slow process. Highlight of the month so far was the discovery of a grey phalarope on the Flood reservoir on Saturday night. It was still...
  • Blog Post: A touch of the exotic

    After yesterdays beautiful, almost spring-like day, with wall-to-wall sunshine, singing skylarks & the first tentative signs of lapwing display, things were sadly back to normal today. Dull, dull, dull. Still the gloom was brightened briefly at lunchtime when i nipped down to check pumps/sheep etc...
  • 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: 6th Jan

    Well, there's no denying that we could use a bit of rain, but what a dismal day! The steady rain set in pretty much from the off and then didn't relent all day. Naturally, our cattle grazier had decided to come up today to take off the first lot of cows that will be calving in the next month...
  • Blog Post: And so it begins..

    Sitting here on a dull, breezy morning, with the remnants of the overnight "rain" (a puny 2.6mm - where was the deluge they forecast?) in the air, the blackthorn bushes blooming in the Kingshill Farm orchard remind me that spring has pretty much arrived. And if that wasn't reminder enough...
  • Blog Post: It's the cows turn..

    Our cattle grazier came to the reserve today to take the first animals back to their winter quarters. He likes his cows to calf indoors, although we've already had 2 un-expected deliveries this year on site. Fortunately, both calves have done well, but they were amongst the first load to go, along...
  • Blog Post: WHISKERED TERN!

    I was going to call this blog "March of the Med Gull", but more of that later. Todays visit by a whiskered tern was a long over-due first for the reserve and quite clearly the days highlight. Found by Rob Clements at c.10am, the bird stuck around the grazing marsh and Flood until c. 5pm...
  • Blog Post: Short-eared owl

    This winter has been pretty hopeless for short-eared owls at Elmley. We had a run of records in the autumn and then very little after the first cold snap, with the last record back in January. Until now. For the past day or so, a bird has been hunting the fields around Kingshill Farm. I was returning...
  • Blog Post: VIP visit

    We had to comb our hair and run a hoover over the office today, as we welcomed a couple of VIP's to the reserve. Chris Corrigan, the SouthEast Regional Director and Mike Henderson, a Lib Dem councillor on Swale Borough Council visited and were gven the grand tour. The weather could have been better...
  • Blog Post: Been a long time since I rock & rolled..

    Well, here we are again. After a lot of investigation & loads of techy stuff waaay over my head, the bottom line is that I am now able to get onto the RSPB website from Elmley. So hopefully, normal service has been resumed. It's been about a month since my last update and in terms of water...
  • Blog Post: I come from the land of the ice & snow...

    Anticipation is mounting for the impending arrival of a benevolent elf from Lapland. But as far as I'm concerned, he's been beaten to the UK by a number of his fellow compatriots! RSPB are now managing a number of fields on the Harty Marshes at the east end of the Isle of Sheppey. We have acquired...
  • 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: I see light at the end of the tunnel. Hope it's not a train...

    Fingers crossed, the Elmley/RSPB website saga could soon be rectified. It seems that the mobile phone connection we use for our computer system at Kingshill Farm has been routing requests to access the website to a different address & so the operation "times out" before the mistake is realised...
  • Blog Post: A bit more like it!

    Well, the promised sunshine finally arrived today. And what a difference! Splendidly sunny (although still with a cool northerly breeze), it's really starting to feel more like spring. One of the sure signs was evident this afternoon, when a distinctive squealing call revealed a male marsh harrier...
  • Blog Post: A Medway odyssey

    The continuing spring-like weather made for a "more pleasant than some" boat trip to carry out the final Medway WeBS count of the 2010/11 winter season. I was joined by Andy & Jason from Northward Hill for the occasion & as we gunned our RIB across the stretch of water between Nor Marsh...
  • Blog Post: And a Happy New Year to all our followers

    Well, here we are in 2012 and returning to Elmley after my Christmas break, I very much had a sense of deja vu, although on this occasion it wasn't just the RSPB website that I couldn't access - I couldn't connect to the internet at all! We traced the glitch to a faulty dongle and having...
  • Blog Post: Visitors 2 Wardens 0

    Following Rob Clements rough-legged buzzard that I missed on Monday, Phil Sharp came in on Wednesday (when I was away from the reserve) and found 2 shorelarks near to Southfleet hide. He even managed to get a photo. As far as I know, this is the first record of these fantastic northern larks at Elmley...
  • Blog Post: Migrants

    Churlish I know, but despite the lovely weather, I wish it would rain! It's hard to maintain a wetland reserve in tip-top condition when there's a singular lack of the wet stuff. I'm still running pumps to top up the water that we've accumulated over the winter, but sunny skies &...
  • Blog Post: Black tern

    Having spent all day in the office, a quick trip down to the reserve before it got dark was on the cards. It was a still, mild evening, but the threat of more heavy showers was in the air. However, I'm pleased that I made the effort as I found the juvenile black tern that had been reported over the...
  • Blog Post: 2nd April

    There's now been up to 3 spoonbills on the Flood on a daily basis since last weekend, but only 2 were present today. And I could only see one this evening, but hopefully one or more will hang around until tomorrow. Raptors today included 2 each of buzzard, sparrowhawk & peregrine + ring-tail...
  • Blog Post: First swallow

    A nice sunny morning, with a light south-easterly blowing and the years first swallow duly arrived. Up until recently, I'd never seen a swallow in March before. Now it's almost expected. Displaying lapwing are becoming ever more obvious and even the redshank are starting to make a bit of noise...