Saturday, 1 April 2017

Elmley Spoonbills !

Its been an interesting week with lots of wildlife sightings, both around the Pear tree and beyond, as my blog title states.
Too many photographs taken, its hard to know which to include, so I've split the entry up into more manageable parts.

This blog entry covers a visit to Elmley nature reserve on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, a visit thats been long overdue, time to reacquaint myself with this reserve.

The reserve used to be looked after by the RSPB, I spent my early days as a "birdwatcher" here at Elmley seeing many good birds over the years, I can't remember how many times I have walked the long walk to the Spithead Hide at back, always my favorite hide, very small, perched on the edge of the Swale, not many people venturing this far on to the reserve, so a fantastic place to sit and enjoy the solitude of the marshes with a flask of coffee and a box of sandwiches.

So now the reserve is privately owned, still looks the same, some good birds seen along the entrance road to Kingshill farm. but a £5.00 fee to enter, maybe thats whats put me off visiting of late.



Skylark - watching me, watching him.

Today's interest came from Well Marsh Hide on the edge of the flood, I had been watching the Black Headed gulls pairing up and chasing off rival suitors. Avocets were also feeding around the edge of the flood, but these are subject to my next blog entry.

Three large white birds flew on to the far side of the Well Marsh pool, Little Egrets was my first thought, as I pointed my binoculars in there direction.

 I was not expecting this fine looking Spoonbill, the black coloured bill indicating an adult, and the pale yellow colouring on the breast indicating an adult coming into breeding plumage.

This adult proceeded to make its way along the reed fringed edge of the pool, the other two birds were further back, and soon flew further on to the flood, but out of sight.

The adult Spoonbill only remained for about ten minutes or so, feeding on the far side of the pool, so these photographs are all quite distant, but you can easily make out all the salient identification features.

This adult soon left to join the other two out of sight on the flood, an unexpected viewing which made the whole visit that much more worthwhile, still a great place to visit, in spite of the entry fee.

1 comment: