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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 recent sightings, merlin
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Here we go again..!

    As predicted, more freezing conditions and another dollop of snow hit the reserve over the weekend. The access track is still passable with care, but the reserve was pretty empty today. There were a few flocks of lapwing roosting on the frozen water bodies and one small group of golden plover in with...
  • 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...