Monday, July 24, 2006
Elmley Marshes 7th May 2006
This was a very memorable day. The main part of the birding was, actually, the entrance track. There I got some smashing migrants and localized birds. The best fo the track was: an overhead Peregrine; lovely Lapwing and Redshanks calling and displaying, flying around us; close up views of Yellow Wagtail and Skylark( My first propper views) and a lovely Corn Bunting ( A first for me), oh nearly forgot a Little-ringed Plover on one of the small pools. It was a fantastic day and Swallows and Kestrels were flying about, a cool breeze swept through the car which we used as a portable hide, migrants galore and of course, the sun was out! Perfect fantasy birding come true! Any non-birders reading this should now realize that what I just described is part of the reason we enjoy birding, though the main bit is competitive listing and a load of other stuff which I am not going to go into. Soon we reached the car park where Pied Wagtails and Starlings where feeding, Swallows skimmed our heads (one nearly followed me into the toilet!) and House Sparrows were dust bathing and going mad at the feeders. Along the first few metres of the walk a Kestrel hovered above us. Mallard flew up from the small ponds a little further along and Tufted Duck dabbled as they left. Soon I started to notice a few fairly large brown wading birds flying around on the field, Whrimbrel, fantastic! There were also Curlew amongst them. First time I had seen Whrimbrel this year, they were stopping off here on their way up to Northern Scotland and its islands. Meadow Pipits performed their amazing song-flights and darted around for insects. Soon we reached the first hide, I had been in this one before and new what its windows looked out at, Avocets!!! A small breeding colony is established here. On the way up I noted Pheasants. In the hide, yes first thing I saw was Avocets, amazing birds. Dunlin were also active, as were Oystercatchers, Shoveler, Greylag Geese, Mallard, Tufted duck, the odd Cormorant and a few Ringed Plover. A couple of Great Black-backed Gulls were around and some Shelduck. Last April I observed a lovely Short-eared Owl from this Hide and Marsh Harrier at the same time! At the second hide I noted some of the first Swift of the year, (I saw my first for the year in mid-April) and my first Greenshank for a while, lovely birds. On the way Back a little Egret and a Grey Heron flew past me and my mum said she heard a Cuckoo on the way back (I didn't because she is impatient and leaves for the car as soon as possible!) As we left the reserve and it was getting dark I noted one or two male Pochard on a small pond, just to finish off.
Posted by David K. Campbell at 7:33 PM