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Elmley Marshes

Elmley Marshes
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Results for turnstone
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: A happy event

    There's probably one question above all others (well maybe apart from "I've found a baby bird. What do I do etc?") that visitors & callers to the reserve ask at this time of year. And that's "Are there any baby avocets we can see from the hides?" Well, I can exclusively...
  • 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: Just a day late this time

    I've spent the last couple of days fairly intensively scouring the reserve for broods of lapwing chicks. In the end, we found a total of 22 broods, totalling 42 chicks - not great, but better than last year & considering the way the water is disappearing, I'm quite pleased with the total...
  • Blog Post: At last...!

    Well, they've been a while coming, but finally today they arrived! Out this afternoon in beautiful sunshine to check the livestock. The grazier & his vet had been in y/day to see how many of his cows were pregnant and we were pleased to learn that they all were, which is quite a rare occurence...
  • 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: a life on the ocean wave

    A change from Elmley today. As part of the ongoing monitoring of important bird populations in the Medway & Swale estuaries, the RSPB carries out bird counts on the Medway that go towards the British Trust for Ornithology's We tland B ird S urvey (WeBS). In order to cover the many off-shore islands...
  • 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: Here come the geese..

    Having predicted in y/day's blog the likely arrival of wild geese onto the reserve, it turns out that they've already started to arrive. I heard this morning that a flock of 10 white-fronted geese were out on the marsh between Kingshill Farm and the Flood yesterday, where there was also 3 pink...
  • 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: 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: 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: Perfect weather for ducks

    With 60mm of rain falling in just 4 days last week you can imagine that the marsh is looking extremely soggy right now! I have really noticed the wildfowl numbers starting to increase. A passing Marsh Harrier sent hundreds of Teal up into the air today from off the reservoir. It was an amazing sight...
  • Blog Post: Grumpy Cows

    Many may have noticed this year that we have had no trouble raising our water levels. Plenty of rain has meant that the reserve is possibly looking the wettest that most can remember. This is fantastic as it has created a great habitat for the winter bird’s arrival. It also makes our days much...
  • Blog Post: 18th July

    A spoonbill back on the Flood today, before flying south across the Swale at 7.20pm. Also present on the Flood a 1st-year little gull & a garganey. Waders included 12 spotted redshank, 155 black-tailed godwit, 1 ruff, 5 turnstone, 3 dunlin, 6 common sandpiper, 4 green sandpiper, 3 snipe & 2 LRP...
  • Blog Post: 26th January

    A thoroughly dismal day on the reseve today: low cloud, drizzle and a nagging northeasterly breeze. But of course, diesel pumps and livestock and other bits & bobs need attention, so we wrapped up warm & ventured out. Not a great day for observing birds of prey - I managed a couple of sightings...
  • Blog Post: 13th August

    The adult curlew sandpiper remains on the Flood today, again showing from Wellmarsh hide. Other waders around the hides included 20 spotted redshank, 1 greenshank, 6 ruff, 85 ringed plover, 2 LRP, 3 grey plover, 12 golden plover, 26 dunlin, 2 knot, 4 turnstone, 1 bar-tailed godwit, 56 black-tailed godwit...
  • Blog Post: Spoonbills again

    While I was out checking the livestock this afternoon, I flushed 2 spoonbills from the edge of the reservoir. Unfortunately, they headed off across the Swale in the direction of Oare Marshes, where they seem to have been seen more regularly just recently. This was the first record since the end of July...