The recent early mornings on the reserve have seen clear blue skies and rapidly warm sunshine after surprisingly chilly nights and everywhere has seemed new and fresh. Just after dawn yesterday morning I stood on the reserve below Harty Church and admired this local sailing barge as it sat at anchor just off the mouth of Faversham Creek.
The large dark area on the saltings, below, is a depression that normally fills with water at each Spring Tide and during late summer into winter is used as a site for catching and ringing wading birds at night.
This is a rear view of the tiny Harty Church with it's fantastic views across The Swale to the mainland.
A closer view of the church rear and graveyard.
A view across the flat grazing marsh of the reserve towards Leysdown, a habitat that makes up c.70% of the reserve.
The seawall fleet (known as The Delph), and it's reed beds and the sea wall with a bush atop it.
Some of the resident Greylag Geese flock. The flock disperses across Harty during the Spring and Summer and only 40-50 remain on the reserve during that time. By early winter their numbers will normally increase to c.300-400 birds.
This last week I have been making an attempt at getting some kind of idea of the number of the smaller breeding birds that there are on the reserve. Birds such as Reed and Sedge Warblers are always difficult to count accurately due to the fact that their nests are always hidden away in reed beds and the like. Really, the best one can do is count how many cock birds are singing and therefore advertising territories and as a result I came up with 46 Singing Reed Warblers and 5 Sedge Warblers. If we class those numbers as breeding pairs then the Reed Warblers are clearly doing very well.