But back to the reserve and while there may be a lack of water, it has been turning up a wide range of birds this last couple of weeks, especially birds of prey. After the excitement of the Osprey and Pallid Harrier it has been the turn of both a male and female Hen Harriers, both adult birds and down from the north of England for their customary winter stay here on Sheppey. White-fronted Geese and Short-eared Owls have begun appearing, no doubt coming in from the Continent on the Easterly winds. The largish owls look quite delightful as they make their all day hunting flights across the fields and saltings of the reserve. On Sunday while walking round the reserve, I not only saw a pair of Ravens, still an uncommon bird here, but also a Common Crane which has been around for a few days. The rather naff photo, taken at some distance in poor, early morning light, shows the Crane in a stubble field alongside the reserve.
Going back to the Easterly winds, elsewhere here in Kent they have also started to push over from Scandinavia the first winter thrushes, Redwings and Fieldfares. Bramblings, Yellow-browed Warblers and Shorelarks have also appeared and so we kiss the summer goodbye for another year.
tonight a great orange moon came up
it came up above the trees
and hung there in a cloudless sky.
I tried t write more about you
but it kept on hanging there
makin the words seem like a lie.
tonight I had t ring you up
t tell you about the moon
and had you seen it as well.
because it wasn't just the wine
or the heat outside
makin it feel I was under a spell.
tonight the moon was my friend
because you came over
and we drank a bottle or two.
but it wasn't just the moon
that made it what it was,
it had a lot t do with you.