Quite a few birds out on the reserve yesterday including the first juvenile Marsh Harrier of the season to visit. This dark chocolate brown and cream headed bird was seen in the company of a female and the immature male but to the best of our knowledge our local pair failed in the floods and this youngster more than likely wandered up from the North Kent Marshes like they often do this time of year. Not sure if they have colour tagged any in 2012 down there but keep your eyes open for a numbered plastic square in each wing. If you do see one please try and read it and let us know. Even the colour will give an indication of where the bird has come from.
Lots of other stuff including: Whimbrel, 3 Common Sandpiper, 4 Oystercatcher, 10 Dunlin, 7 Lapwing, 15 Yellow-legged Gull, 3 Teal, two families of Pochard, two families of Tufted Duck, 13 Gadwall, 3 Teal, our still complete Great Crested Grebe family, 84 Coot, 8 Grey Heron, 3 Little Egret (not sure they have all gone!), Peregrine, 2 Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk.
Lots of butterflies on the wing including many Skippers, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers and two Marbled Whites have also been seen. Jerry's dragonfly walk was a great success with eigh species of odenata.
Gatekeeper (Brenda Clayton)