Friday 4 May 2012

Bright Sky Delight

 The two photos above show how some areas of the reserve have now become so much wetter as a result of a combination of the recent rainfall and a bit of borehole pumping, at last its starting to look like a wetland reserve again. As I walked past this area this morning there were Lapwings, Oystercatchers, Redshanks, Whimbrel, Blackwits and a pair of Yellow Wagtails, all enjoying the conditions.

 The above photo shows the scrape in "The Flood" field, we re-dug it last summer and a month ago it was two thirds dry and so has recovered nicely as a result of the rain. We also re-profiled a couple of small islands that Avocets have previously nested on and over recent weeks 3-4 pairs have been showing interest in doing the sasme. Unfortunately however, a dozen or so immature Herring Gulls have now adopted the islands as a roosting site and they do love a nice Avocet egg or chick for breakfast and so the Avocets will probably move on before long.
From the Flood I made my way over to the seawall and, sad to say, I had a brief spell of euphoria as the dark grey skies became much brighter grey skies, a simple pleasure and I dread to think to what heights of orgasmic delight I shall reach if we ever see the sun again!

 Walking along the top of the seawall, unbuttoning the top of my coat due to the brightening sky, I noticed that the first of the St. Mark's Flies have now emerged and were feeding on the flower heads of Alexanders. And below, on the saltings, large clumps of white Scurvy Grass were doing their best to brighten up the grey day.

And below, is my view ahead as I walked west along the seawall. To the left are the saltings that stretch out to the tidal Swale, and to the right, the wide reed beds alongside the Delph, or sea wall fleet.

At the end of the sea wall I turned and looked back east towards Shellness Hamlet in the far distance and took the photograph below to illustrate the Delph fleet that lies alongside and floods into the reed bed. Part of the reserve's grazing marsh lies alongside too the left.

And lastly, for a change, I'll list what birds species that I saw today as I walked round. It was a quiet day birdwise, ( isn't that's what some bloggers say before posting a great long list) but anyway this is what I saw without going to Shellness and the wader roost.
Gt. Crested Grebe - Little Egret - Grey Heron - Mute Swan - Greylag Goose - Brent Goose - Shelduck - Gadwall - Mallard - Shoveler - Pochard - Tufted Duck - Marsh Harrier - Buzzard - Kestrel - Coot - Oystercatcher - Avocet - Grey Plover - Lapwing - Black-tailed Godwit - Whimbrel - Curlew - Redshank - Common Sandpiper - Black-headed Gull - Herring Gull - Woodpigeon - Barn Owl - Short-eared Owl - Swift - Skylark - Swallow - House Martin - Meadow Pipit - Yellow Wagtail - Wren - Wheatear - Blackbird - Sedge Warbler - Reed Warbler - Whitethroat - Long-tailed Tit - Bearded Tit - Carrion Crow - Starling - Linnet - Reed Bunting.


  1. Great update of the reserve derek, not a bad list without the inclusion of the wader roost at Shellness. Would be very happy to see that many on such a dull day!

  2. Mike, yes it surprises me at times, when I actually add up every single species seen on a day, what seems to be a very poor day, isn't actually.