Thursday 31 August 2023

Elmley, August 2023

Elmley nature reserve on Sheppey is a fantastic place for birders to visit at any time, although the summer months are inevitably not as rewarding as the winter and spring.  Your car is used as a mobile hide on the long entrance track. Once at the car park you have a choice of several medium-distance hides looking out on scrapes, a single, very distant, hide looking out over the Swale, or a walk past the 'Old School House' out to the 'Brickfields'. Depending on the time of year and time of day, Long-eared owls, Short-eared owls and Little owls may be seen. If you stay over-night in their accommodation, Barn owls may also be seen in the early morning.  Marsh Harriers, Buzzards and Kestrels are seen all year round, with Hobbies and even Merlins making infrequent appearances.







                                                    Little Grebe


                                                 Pied Wagtail





 Reed bunting




Grey Heron

Marsh Harrier


Yellow Wagtail

 Sedge Warbler

 Bath time


Local Black Stork, mid August 2023

A Black Stork, a rare visitor to the UK, was spotted in Suffolk on the 9th August and re-spotted on the 11th August in East Kent. On the 13th August it moved north west and was spotted over Tankerton. On the 14th August it was seen near Capel Fleet on Sheppey and remained there for several days, causing quite a stir amongst local birders.  It was often distant from any convenient viewing point and regularly hounded by Corvids including Ravens.  My pictures were taken on a gloomy evening, but at least I found it!

A local Raven on Sheppy, not impressed with the arrival of the Black Stork.

 Presumably it headed south after Sheppey, towards a wintering ground in Africa.

Sunday 27 August 2023

Rutland, August 2023

The late summer is a generally quiet time for birds in the UK but Ospreys were not the only birds on display during my August visit to Rutland Water.

There were several Great White Egrets. This one rinsed its catch 3 times before swallowing it.

Sedge and Reed Warblers were still present amongst the reeds/margins.

Slimbridge, late November 2023