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: 20th September

    Still relatively quiet from a wader point of view - a few ringed plover & dunlin up on this mornings tide and still greenshank & green sandpiper about. Low tide on the Swale produced grey & golden plover, bar-tailed godwit & knot + lots of little egrets. The first stonechat of the...
  • 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: 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: Short-eared owl

    This winter has been pretty hopeless for short-eared owls at Elmley. We had a run of records in the autumn and then very little after the first cold snap, with the last record back in January. Until now. For the past day or so, a bird has been hunting the fields around Kingshill Farm. I was returning...
  • Blog Post: I see light at the end of the tunnel. Hope it's not a train...

    Fingers crossed, the Elmley/RSPB website saga could soon be rectified. It seems that the mobile phone connection we use for our computer system at Kingshill Farm has been routing requests to access the website to a different address & so the operation "times out" before the mistake is realised...
  • 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: 15th Sep

    The clearing skies last night was presumably the reason that there was no sign of yesterdays Temminck's stint on the Flood. But they can be elusive, so we'll keep our eyes open. Other waders on the Flood today included 5 little stint, 5 curlew sandpipers, a juvenile spotted redshank and 2 juvenile...
  • 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: Visitors 2 Wardens 0

    Following Rob Clements rough-legged buzzard that I missed on Monday, Phil Sharp came in on Wednesday (when I was away from the reserve) and found 2 shorelarks near to Southfleet hide. He even managed to get a photo. As far as I know, this is the first record of these fantastic northern larks at Elmley...
  • Blog Post: home again..

    Back at Elmley having spent 3 days in York at the RSPB Warden's Gathering (which included a very enjoyable trip to a previous stomping ground at Blacktoft Sands - plenty of good birds, including at least 26 spotted redshanks, 3 curlew sandpipers & a skein of pink-footed geese headed south. If...
  • 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: 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: 4th September

    A juvenile hen harrier at Elmley this evening. Other raptors included 2 buzzard, peregrine & hobby. Waders on the Flood included 6 curlew sandpiper, 4 little stint, single spotted redshank & ruff and 2 greenshank. The cuckoo was still around Kingshill Farm, as was a whitethroat & a whinchat
  • 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: 17th June

    The 2 immature spoonbills remained on the Flood today, where there was also 65 black-tailed godwit, at least 2 spotted redshank & a single greenshank. A green sandpiper has been present next to the reserve access track for a few days now. A buzzard was the best of the raptors. Increasing numbers...
  • 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: 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...