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Elmley Marshes

Elmley Marshes
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Results for recent sightings, hobby
  • 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: 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: 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: Up with the lark

    Today was the first "field by field" census of the year for this breeding season. We carry out 3 of these to record the breeding populations across the site, walking through every field & aiming to get to within 100m of all points on the reserve. Elmley's quite a big area, so to cover...
  • 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: 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: 5th July

    Just a single spoonbill again on the Flood this evening, dropping in at c.7pm in front of Southfleet hide. There was also a single wood sandpiper, 2 green sandpiper and a ruff from here. Totals of 11 spotted redshank and 300 black-tailed godwit also on the Flood. A female pochard has her brood of developing...
  • Blog Post: R-n phalarope II

    The juvenile red-necked phalarope remained on the Flood today, often showing very well from Wellmarsh hide. Also on the Flood were seven little stints (all juvs from Southfleet hide), about 16 juv curlew sandpipers, seven ruff (one ad), two spotted redshanks, one green and three common sandpipers, two...
  • Blog Post: Twitching damsels

    A day off on Saturday, so an opportunity to get off Sheppey & I decided to head off & try to see some new species of odonata. Or dragonflies & damselflies to you & I. Heading south from Elmley, the lifting bridge was up over the Swale, so rather than sit in a queue of stationary traffic...
  • 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: 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: Not so "flaming" June

    And thank Crunchie for that! They say that us Brits have a bit of a weather fixation, but as the Warden of a wetland nature reserve, the "fixation" is probably bordering on "obsession". I really was starting to get a bit concerned by the way that water was disappearing from the reserve...
  • 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: 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: Lights! Camera! Action!

    Another 2 weeks has passed & still no joy in getting onto the RSPB website at Elmley - a real conundrum. I have been sent another possible fix that I will try when I return to Kingshill Farm, but I'm currently at Northward Hill, hence the chance for a further up-date about what's hip &...
  • Blog Post: 16th July

    Despite the breezy conditions (or perhaps because of them..) an obvious arrival of waders today: Spotted redshank totalled 29 on the Flood, where there was also 260 black-tailed godwit, 4 bar-tailed godwit, 1 LRP and a wigeon in eclipse plumage. Other waders around the reserve included 22 green sandpiper...
  • Blog Post: Red-necked phalarope

    Well it's all go these days! Although there was no sign today of yesterdays Temminck's stint (presumably last nights clear conditions prompted it to carry on with it's migration) in it's place there was a peachy juvenile red-necked phalarope. This tiny tundra treasure twirled & twitched...
  • Blog Post: Sweet precipitation!

    The rain finally arrived at Elmley on Thursday afternoon - only showers, but some of them heavy enough to make a difference. We got just over 10mm, which wasn't enough to wet up areas that have dried out, but will keep the remaining wet bits wet a bit longer. Crucial for the many wader chicks that...
  • Blog Post: My watch is slow...

    Either that, or things are on the move early in this slightly odd year. Having confidently predicted the first returning autumn waders on the 9th or 10th of the month, it was almost inevitable I suppose, but I was still surprised to flush a green sandpiper yesterday. Green sands are scarce spring migrants...
  • Blog Post: 13th june

    The 3 spoonbills again on the Flood today. A long-eared owl reported in the orchard at Kingshill Farm. Also hobby, buzzard, barn & little owl, cuckoo & Med gull.
  • Blog Post: The holiday season begins!

    Returning to work yesterday was somewhat difficult (to say the least) after a week away in the French Alps. Everyone gets the post-holiday back-to-work blues, but a day spent back at Elmley reminded me why I love working in conservation. Admittedly, half my day was spent in the office, clearing...
  • 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...