Monday, 5 April 2010

No blogs for the last few days for two reasons, one I got a tad fed up with walking round the reserve in cold winds and grey skies and seeing no new migrants and secondly and probably related, the arthrits in my feet flared up quite badly making walking any distance over uneven ground very painful.

Anyway, by yesterday afternoon I felt somewhat better and decided to drive down to Shellness and the Kentish Plover bonanza and show my face, so to speak, as a Voluntary Warden for the reserve. I've never seen a KP and still haven't, mainly because I didn't bother too look too hard for it and because I had an enjoyable chat with a birdwatcher, of a type that I didn't think still existed. This gentleman had caught the train down from Beckenham and then presumably got the bus from Sheerness to Leysdown and walked from there too Shellness - a throw back to how it used to be done in the old, pre-car days. This guy was keen to show me a specimen of Sea Spurge that was growing there, which hasn't been recorded in recent times, and I was able to show him what is probably the only specimen of Shrubby Seablight, (growing by the blockhouse), that is to be found in North Kent.

This morning, feeling OK and encouraged by a positive weather forecast last night from that useless Kaddy-Lee Preston woman, I ventured back down to the reserve after a break of a few days, and what did I face, you guessed it, heavy grey skies and a strong and cold wind! I think that if we ever get a run of very warm and sunny days again that I will personally go round and throttle the first person that complains about it being to hot (Warren be warned)
Undaunted, I decided to have a look round all the reserve's reed beds in the hope of a Sedge Warbler, although the strength of the wind in the reeds made hearing calls difficult. Unfortunately the sum total of migrant birds on the reserve this morning was - nil! Those regulars at that sub-tropical paradise the Grove and Stodmarsh should be very grateful at seeing the enviable list of birds that they do rather than whinging about the odd muddy footpath!

Whilst out there, I watched a regular turn round of birdwatchers going out to Shellness to look for the KP again and was struck by something surprising, or not if you are used to that type of birdwatcher, nobody either yesterday while I was there, or this morning, and despite being on the edge of the Swale NNR, bothered to walk along the seawall and have a look at it and the variety of birds on offer, including around 80 White-fronted Geese still. What a blinkered approach to birdwatching some of these people appear to have, having driven some distance and along a pretty rough track, just to ignore such habitat and such a variety of birds purely because they're not rare or uncommon.


  1. Excuses, excuses! You'll be telling us next you type with your toes

  2. Tony, no I don't but neither do I walk round the reserve on my hands!
    Just make sure you've got plenty of tea bags ready for Thursday night - and chocolate digestives.

  3. That made me laugh out loud ''that useless kaddy lee preston woman'' heh heh heh.

  4. Its the tick the bird brigade - Derek! The no. of times I have been on Sheppey and run into birders just there for the RLB or whatever - once seen off they go!
    Shame as we both know what interesting "local" birds there are on the Island.

  5. Well said Corinna, its hard to believe that they can ignore so much else around them.
    Looks lovely at Capel Hill Farm at the moment, been there lately?

  6. yes - over the Easter w/e!
    I just love to see the lambs skipping!

    I have now got a couple of weeks looking after friends dogs while they are away during the childrens break and then I plan to do my early breeding sessions in late April.