Sorry for lack of posts, this has been mainly due to carpal tunnel syndrome (in both hands). Anyway on to this report.
Yesterday with bright sunshine I went to Elmley Marshes RSPB Reserve hoping to see the Long Eared Owls (for which there is a sign) and the Humming-Bird Hawk-Moth which had been seen there by friends of mine. As always a short note about the venue, Elmley Marshes is off the A249 and clearly signposted from a junction just before the bridge to Sheppey. Facilities include a car park for about 20 cars and a toilet. There is a 2 mile drive through the reserve to the car park which is usually quite fruitful, but it is forbidden to exit your car on the drive, though you are welcome to stop and use your car as a hide. Dogs are not allowed on the reserve. Yesterday I only used my Canon 400D + 100-400mm Lens.On the drive to the car park I saw Lapwings, Starlings, House Sparrows, Yellow Wagtails, a Sky Lark, a Little Egret, a Marsh Harrier, and a Heron whilst Swallows, Pied Wagtails and Moorhens awaited me in the car park.
|Yellow Wagtail on drive|
A look over the first lake from the toilet block gave Coots, BH Gulls, Oystercatchers, a Dabchick, a Green Sandpiper, a Great Crested Grebe, and some more Lapwings and Yellow Wagtails. Still on the farm by the Orchard I found the sign for the Long Eared Owls, but they were a no-show, however whilst there I did get to see a single Humming-Bird Hawk-Moth, sadly it did not hang around, unlike the Small Whites, Green Veined Whites, Gatekeepers and Red Admirals.The lake at the bottom of the hill had a very low water level and the only addition to the list was a couple of Redshanks and Avocets, whilst the walk to the Wellmarsh Hide provided a few sightings of Sedge Warblers and a Reed Warbler (though I only saw its back), some Mallards and a large number of Meadow Browns and Small Skippers.
From Wellmarsh Hide could be seen Avocets, Black Tailed Godwits, a Wigeon family (which had me foxed for ages due to very odd plumage all round), singletons of Spotted Redshank, Ringed Plover, Ruff and Common Tern. With the exception of the Avocets, they were all at the far end of the
|Sedge Warbler with gift|
|(I believe) a Red Veined Darter|
|A young Hedgehog|