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Elmley Marshes

Elmley Marshes
Do you love our Elmley Marshes nature reserve? Share your thoughts with the community. Or if you're thinking about visiting and would like to find out more, ask away!
Results for merlin, ruff
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 27th October

    Things have been a bit quiet on the reserve over the past few days, although even in "quiet" periods there's usually something of interest around the reserve. On the 25th, a short-eared owl, a wheatear & 3 brambling were around Kingshill Farm. On Monday, 2 little stint were present...
  • Blog Post: Temminck's stint

    There were still at least 18 juv curlew sandpipers and one little stint up on the high tide today, but the star turn was a rather un-assuming mud coloured wader that pottered about in front of Southfleet hide this evening - an adult Temminck's stint. A few pairs of these tiny waders nest on occasions...
  • Blog Post: ...and another thing!

    Having had a mild rant in my last blog about birding abbreviations, I thought I'd carry on about another pet hate of mine! Sitting in Southfleet hide this evening, I had the surreal experience of watching SpongeBob SquarePants float across the Flood. "How amusing" I hear you say. Unfortunately...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: "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: 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: 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: Mr Blue Sky

    The weather over the past few days has, by & large, been fantastic! Gloriously sunny days, light (or even no) winds, crisp & clear. On Saturday afternoon, the visibility was so good that, looking through my 'scope from Kingshill Farm, I could pretty much count how many people (12 - 15 I thought...
  • Blog Post: home again..

    Back at Elmley having spent 3 days in York at the RSPB Warden's Gathering (which included a very enjoyable trip to a previous stomping ground at Blacktoft Sands - plenty of good birds, including at least 26 spotted redshanks, 3 curlew sandpipers & a skein of pink-footed geese headed south. If...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: April 20th

    Quite an exciting day on the reserve today. I was just going back into the house at Kingshill Farm this morning when I heard the unmistakeable rattling call of a garganey coming from the pool behind the house. There were actually 2 drakes and a duck present here. The call has been likened to someone...
  • 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: 6th October

    Natalie & I attended a series of meetings at Northward Hill today, although the North Kent Marshes team managed to escape at lunch-time to spend a short spell up at the Marshland Viewpoint on the reserve. Well worth the effort, with a ring-tail hen harrier, hobby, buzzard, marsh harrier & a stonechat...
  • Blog Post: Bank Holiday Weekend

    Plenty of stuff around for the good numbers of visitors that visited Elmley over the weekend. Where to start? The 3 spoonbills remained faithful to the Flood most of the time, although they can sometimes be difficult to see when they choose to feed in the deeper channels. Still at least 3 garganey...