Monday, 28 January 2013

Big Garden Birdwatch and a Trip to Elmley Marshes

It was rather a lovely weekend. Despite the forecast of rain on both Saturday and Sunday we were lucky enough to miss it on both days!

We went for a nice walk on Saturday morning with blue skies and that bright thing we hadn't seen for a while, the sun I think they call it! There were quite a few fieldfares around, as well as possible mistle thrush or two, however flew off before we could confirm.

We had a bit of a job getting the puppy clean and dry as he likes to play with the towel. Once settled kept an eye on the garden so could start the hour of birding for the RSPB big garden birdwatch. Let the pup into the garden and heard Long tailed tits, so quickly called him in so he didn't disturb them then started my hour! 9 LTT turned up along with a great tit and chaffinch, a blue tit which visited 3 or 4 times in the hour. A few house sparrows visited the nut feeder, a couple of blackbirds hopped about, the resident pair of collard doves and a little robin all adding to the total. Not sure where the 10 or so starlings which usually visit disappeared to, and shame the wren didn't make an appearance and the great spotted woodpecker which made his d├ębut last week. In the front garden there were 8 or so sparrows at one time, along with a dunnock that fed on the ground. All in all 9 species and 29 birds in total!

Long tailed tit


Blue tit

Yesterday we headed over to the Isle of Sheppey, to visit the RSPB reserve Elmley Marshes. On our way over we saw 2 buzzards and then we had just entered the reserve and a kestrel landed in a tree in front of us. As we drove, or rather crawled, along the winding country road to the car park area, we saw hundreds of lapwings, a large flock of curlew. A lone skylark fluttered along in front of the car, twittering away! When we got walking we saw a few teal and widgeon down on the flooded marshes. Again lots of curlew and probably dunlin and knot. We also noted a solitary little egret and a couple of shelduck flying over. We just turned to head back as it was rather chilly and I spotted a hare! First one of the year! Luckily it was close enough to get a few photos! Could have stopped and watched it all afternoon but pup was restless, he isn't such a keen twitcher! We also saw the usual suspects, marsh harriers, always a pleasure to watch.




Pup got bored of waiting for us to watch birds and lay down in the grass...

And now for the star of the show...

No, not the sheep!

How do you do

On our way back along the lane there were lots of cars pulled up, presumably something interesting had been spotted. We could see a number of knot and also probably a fair few ruff or maybe they were redshank, but maybe they weren't and we missed out on a fabulously rare bird!

Here are a couple of blurry photos, any comments on idenification would be welcomed!

Anyway pretty good weekend all in all! Hope everyone else did too! 


  1. That's always the way Lou, every year at the time of the Big Garden Birdwatch the birds disappear! Very frustrating!
    Always nice to see a Hare, won't be long until they start boxing.
    From what I can see the birds in the top phot are Ruff, with the bottom photo showing a Ruff and some Dunlin. Can't see anything more exciting I am afraid.
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

    1. Thanks for your comment John, we thought that was probably the case!

      Hope you had a successful BGB!

  2. Sounds like a great trip Lou! Funnily enough, I was at Elmley on Sunday admiring those very Ruff - such handsome, colourful birds. Lovely hare pics too :)


    1. What a coincidence! I just had a read of your recent blog post, wish I'd known about the Bewick's and cranes!

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you! Was very lucky that it was so close to us! We even saw it swim :)