Elmley Marshes

Elmley Marshes
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  • Media: Six Spoonbill

    Six Spoonbill Flying.
  • Blog Post: A bit more like it!

    Well, the promised sunshine finally arrived today. And what a difference! Splendidly sunny (although still with a cool northerly breeze), it's really starting to feel more like spring. One of the sure signs was evident this afternoon, when a distinctive squealing call revealed a male marsh harrier...
  • 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: 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: So near...

    This predictions business isn't easy you know. A couple of posts ago, I suggested that a couple of nice June surprises for the reserve might involve a roller or a squacco heron. Imagine my frustration when first a roller appeared on Monday. In Suffolk. And then today came the news that there was...
  • Blog Post: 4th July

    The 2 spoonbills again on the Flood today, although one flew west at about 6.45pm. Also on the Flood 270 black-tailed godwit, but only 8 spotted redshank noted. More green sandpipers today, with at least 11 around the reserve. 2 sand martins flew south, along with small numbers of swift; and 2 juvenile...
  • Blog Post: 2nd July

    After a weeks absence, the 2 sub-adult spoonbills were back on the Flood at Elmley this afternoon, showing from Wellmarsh hide. Not as many black-tailed godwits present as the past few days (the tide wasn't particularly high), but still at least 350, as well as 27 spotted redshank, 2 greenshank &...
  • Blog Post: Quite quiet

    Another breezy, showery day, without anything too exciting happening around the reserve. Although a visitor reported seeing a stoat at Wellmarsh hide carrying either a young moorhen or coot. After Monday, our spoonbills appear to have gone AWOL again, I haven't seen the garganey again since Sunday...
  • Blog Post: 20th June

    The 3 spoonbills showed well from Wellmarsh hide again this afternoon. Also an increase of spotted redshank, with 23 birds present. 100+ black-tailed godwit, a buzzard being mobbed first by a marsh harrier & then by a kestrel and a calling grey partridge were other highlights.
  • Blog Post: spoonbill

    Two adult spoonbills on the Flood today, where there was also a flock of 45 black-tailed godwit and a single spotted redshank (another early returning migrant wader). A peregrine & a buzzard amongst the usual marsh harriers & kestrels, a little tern fishing in the ditches beside the track down...
  • 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: 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: 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: Rough-legged buzzard

    Well, what a change from yesterday. From dull with persistent rain, to a bright, frosty start, atmospheric early mist soon clearing & a gloriously sunny day (though still quite parky) to follow. A good day for seeing raptors. Disappointingly, I had to spend a chunk of the day in the office doing...
  • 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: 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: 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: "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: 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: Just call me Mystic Meg..

    Well, don't actually - it wasn't that hard to predict! But the first wheatear of the year duly arrived along the access track on Saturday. No sign of it today, but I'm sure that there will be others. There was also a chiffchaff reported. Today's highlight was an adult spoonbill on the...