Elmley Marshes

Elmley Marshes
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  • 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: 4th August

    Despite 6mm of rain falling in the space of 15 minutes or so during this afternoon's thunder storm, I still had to run the big Syke's 6" diesel pump onto the Flood for a few hours to top up dwindling water levels. It would be nice to be able to rely on rainfall to keep the Flood wet at the...
  • Blog Post: 7th July

    Bah!! White-tailed plover (or lapwing if you prefer) is one of those fantasy birds that I always imagined I'd find at Elmley. So when one finally turns up in the region, where does it end up? Rainham RSPB. Wrong side of the Thames. Still, a cracking bird & well done to Howard et al for pulling...
  • Blog Post: "My Ford Fiesta is full of stoats"

    NOT a quote from a Monty Python sketch, but another bizarre occurence for the Elmley warden. I'd experienced a bit of car trouble today and having got back to the reserve was slightly concerned by the smell of "overheating car" when I got out. Lifting the bonnet, I noticed 2 things: firstly...
  • 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: Latest catch up

    Can't believe it's been almost 2 weeks since my last blog - time just seems to zip past these days! Going around the reserve today checking the livestock, there were numerous familiar faces: there's still one spoonbill hanging around the pools east of the Flood, although the strong wind today...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 9th July

    At least 1 spoonbill remained at the reserve today, with other waders on the Flood including 15 spotted redshank, 100+ black-tailed godwit, 4 green sandpiper and single greenshank & common sandpiper. Little egret numbers are increasing, with "flocks" of 7 or 8 birds regularly fishing in...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Curlew sandpiper

    Apologies for the delay, but Friday saw the first record of the year of curlew sandpiper. 2 of these smart Arctic waders were feeding on the Flood out from Wellmarsh hide and they were still present on Saturday. These birds are occasional spring visitors to the reserve, as they make their way north to...
  • 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: 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: Summertime reserve management

    Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 You’ll have to forgive my lack of blogging over the past few weeks. The summer is a busy time of year on a wet grassland reserve, and it’s been all hands to the grindstone...
  • 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: 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...