Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Nothing To Say

 DOUBLE CLICK ON THE FIRST PHOTO TO BRING THEM UP SHARPER. (there were pretty heavy skies this morning so the light wasn't too good)

There's been a sailing barge in The Swale off Harty this week, with a strange sail. Perhaps its a spare sail while the proper one is being repaired or something, but from a distance it gives the boat the appearance of a Viking longship and is quite spooky.

Aside from that, its dreadfully uninspiring out just lately and its obvious from the dearth of postings on other Kent wildlife blogs, that others are finding it the same. Several have cut back quite a bit on how many postings they now make each week and some haven't posted for a few months, although that could simply be lack of interest. But with us now going into the fag-end of summer and the majority of birds now moulting and therefore off their food, silent and skulking, there's not much to flash the binoculars at. The reserve has stayed remarkably green this year but that and the overgrown state of the grazing marsh, are the only real indications of a wet summer. Water levels are back at normal summer levels and apart from the daily dozen or so Green Sandpipers scattered around the reserve, there's few other birds about, especially wildfowl. Walking round in warm and sometimes sunny conditions and seeing so few ducks, it's hard to believe that the wildfowling season will be starting in just three weeks time. There won't be much shot, that's for sure.

The farmers have been out in force the last few weeks, desperately trying to pretty much get in three crops - hay, rape and wheat - all at the same time. Wet weather has seen the harvesting of the first two held back until quite late this year and I believe that some of the rape had to be sprayed with a substance that prevented the pods from bursting open when they did eventually get on it. The late harvesting of the rape was quite ironic because in one rape field alongside the reserve three pairs of Marsh Harriers nested and we fully expected the young to be lost to the normal combining operations. The very late harvesting of that field this year would of easily seen the young fledge first but sadly, all three nests failed due to the continually sodden and cold state of the rape after egg laying.

So, at the moment, all that's really going on is the wheat harvest and its strange to see that happening this year without huge clouds of dust following the combine harvester.


  1. Good to hear from your world Derek even if it is a little down on activity. I am sure it will catch up as you know so well Mother Nature has a way of dealing with things.

  2. You perfectly right Mike, this is always a very quiet time of year here until around Oct/Nov. and then it picks up again as winter stuff begins to re-assert itself. Hopefully the Lap. Bunts will re-visit again.