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Elmley Marshes

Elmley Marshes
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Results for recent sightings
  • Blog Post: ...almost autumn!

    The seasons are changing - ever so subtly, but changing they are. It's only the end of May, but the first post-breeding lapwing flocks are starting to gather. These are birds that for whatever reason have not bred this year, or have tried to breed unsuccessfully. As June progresses, their numbers...
  • Blog Post: 14th February

    In direct contrast to yesterdays gloom, today was another glorious day on the reserve and it was enjoyed by probably more people than got out on Sunday - probably not unsurprisingly. And no-one who visited in todays sunshine can have failed to be impressed by the number of birds out on the Flood. Still...
  • Blog Post: The Full Monty

    Todays highlight was one of those "right time, right place" moments - a late afternoon turn around the reserve and suddenly a harrier appeared over the counterwall. There has been a ring-tail hen harrier around until last Sunday at least, and at first I thought that this bird was it. But as...
  • Blog Post: Happy 2013!

    A quick update on path conditions: The path leading to Counterwall hide is still flooded and so remains closed. All other paths and tracks on the reserve are extremely wet and muddy so please take care. Our main phone line is currently down so if you would like any information or want an update then...
  • 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: 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: Swale hide

    The step at Swale hide has been fixed, so we've been able to re-open the hide in time for the weekend. With the high tides early and late in the day, much of the bird activity in terms of waders and wildfowl is found out on the Swale. look out for the increasing numbers of wigeon, pintail & brent...
  • Blog Post: Typical summer weather

    I'd been concerned for 3 months about the lack of rain, but of course I was forgetting that June is the month for Wimbledon & cricket test matches, so maybe shouldn't have been quite so worried. The last couple of days has seen another half an inch of rain drop on Elmley and todays strong...
  • 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: Rouzel

    Don't you just love bird watchers vernacular? The spoonbill was still on the Flood today, as were 2 spotted redshank and a ruff, amongst all the nesting activity of avocets, lapwing & redshank + a variety of ducks & assorted other waterfowl. A single whimbrel was in the field near Southfleet...
  • Blog Post: Sightings

    It is really beginning to feel wintery on the reserve. Raptors are really making their presence known with Hen Harrier, Merlin, Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, Shorteared Owls and Barn Owls all spotted over the weekend by visitors. From Spitend Hide the estuarine waders can be seen in relative comfort out...
  • Blog Post: Roughly speaking

    With no sign of "our" rough-legged buzzard since the Bank Holiday Monday and with the gale force winds of the ensuing few days, the news of a bird on Saturday at Northward Hill reserve made me think that it was likely to be the Elmley bird relocating a bit further west. Venturing over there...
  • Blog Post: Motney Hill - 5th March

    Decided that I needed a haircut today, so as my hairdresser is in Medway, it seemed rude not to call in at the Medway reserves at Motney Hill on the way back. Pulling my hat tightly down to keep a keen north-easterly breeze from getting to my newly exposed ears, I realised that i had timed my visit just...
  • Blog Post: Blue-green blues

    I thought that we'd got rid of it, but once again certain bits of the reserve are experiencing a "bloom" of blue-green algae. It's not actually an alga at all, as it's "proper" name is cyanobacteria. These are photosynthesising bacteria, that can affect water quality when...
  • Blog Post: 15th August

    A quick tour of the hides on the top of the tide produced some excellent birding. But before that, a look over the saltmarsh from the benches at Wellmarsh produced 2 black terns, 250 grey plover, 50 dunlin, 2 whimbrel & 2 bar-tailed godwit. Around the Flood, now 2 little stints (an adult & a...
  • Blog Post: More signs of spring (but a bad day for the BAPs)

    Not anything to do with birds in this instance. I'm referring to the fact that the hazel catkins are out around Kingshill Farm and the first great crested newts are starting to emerge from hibernation. The catkins are obvious enough, but the newts are generally far more secretive. The reason that...
  • 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: 12th June

    Still at least 2 spoonbills on the Flood at Elmley mid-afternoon, as well as 3-4 spotted redshank, 2 greenshank, 3 turnstone & a drake garganey. Raptors included 1-2 buzzard, peregrine & hobby.
  • 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: June 10th

    The showery weather continues, although I think I'll still have to put some more water onto the Flood. I went out this evening to check on one of the cows out there. It was OK, but some of the pools are looking low, despite the rain. But the shallow water is what the avocets love and i counted a...
  • 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: All change please, all change

    Straight back into the day-to-day reserve work. We've just spent a fair chunk of the last 2 days getting the sheep off-site (they're going back to Sussex to lamb). So a lorry arrived on Thursday morning, one load of sheep were rounded up & c.120 were shipped out. On Friday 2 lorries arrived...
  • 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...