We still have two Short-eared Owls using the reserve on a daily basis and this one watched me as I drove onto the reserve, perhaps resenting the fact that I was disturbing its hunting. It's a bit of a distant shot but comes up a bit better if you double click on it - perhaps Adam Winehouse and I share the same "take it as it is " philosophy.
I've established a lot of willow bushes/trees around the barn area over the years by simply pushing broken-off branches into the ditch edges and the photo below shows one of the very first that I established along the reserve's boundary. There are several of these, all around twenty years old now, along a stretch of ditch that we have now nick-named "Willow Walk".
This morning I was also surprised to see a Buzzard close to the reserve being strongly mobbed by a pair of Marsh Harriers. That quite surprised me as I would of thought that the two species would of got on OK but the fact that the harriers had a nest near bye might of had something to with it. For a while the buzzard simply sat on a fence post and ducked every now and then but eventually it got fed up and flew well away into central Harty.
Despite the plethora of both common and rare summer migrants all along the nearby mainland, here on our little island enclave of Sheppey, migrants are still thin on the ground. Several of the reserve's reed beds now have singing Sedge Warblers in them but Reed Warblers have still to arrive, I counted just the one this morning. Yellow Wagtails remain in the singular most days and Turtle Doves and Cuckoos are yet to be heard. This morning from my window at home I watched two Swifts flying across a grey and cold sky and wondered why, why leave all the warmth and sun that they have to come to this and the desperate search for insects in such a cold and sunless sky.