Thursday 17 January 2013

New Hide

Today has been a beautiful day, the calm before tomorrow's snow storm maybe, but a day to be thoroughly enjoyed all the same.
I waited until the sun had been up an hour or two and then set off for the reserve, arriving under dazzlingly clear blue skies, grass white with frost and a strongly beaming sun. The sun not only beamed but it was surprisingly warm on my back as I walked round and I was very warm by the time I got back to the car, perhaps I'd overdone the winter clothes. It all looked really superb and even better, the dogs and I had it all to ourselves and we set off to enjoy the rare treat of walking across a bone-hard, frozen marsh - a rare day without mud and water! The newly finished sea wall hide was drawing us towards it like a magnet and so that was our first stop, perhaps even the first visitors.
It's a really compact and cosy little hide and with a rare treat for us this time, glass viewing slots - no freezing cold wind blowing in while you sit there and look around. This time as well, it has an extra viewing slot, one that takes in the saltings and The Swale behind, magic. I love it, and standing at the top of the steps, bathed in warming sunshine this morning, it's been worth the wait, let's hope it remains un-vandalised now.

Continuing with my patrol round, there was even some birds to be found, no huge numbers but a good variety all the same and more than enough to keep this lonely soul happy.

1 Little Egret
6 White-fronted Geese
60 Greylag Geese
300 Brent Geese
4 Shoveler
100 Wigeon
20 Teal
1 Buzzard
1 ring-tail Hen Harrier
3 Marsh Harrier
70 Coot
250 Golden Plover
500 Lapwing
26 Snipe
2 Pied Wagtail
6 Bearded Tit
2 Stonechat
30 Linnet
18 Reed Buntings

Hopefully, the projected arrival time of tomorrow's snow will remain at lunch-time and I will be able to get in another patrol early tomorrow, ahead of being confined indoors over the weekend. Hopefully, it won't even come at all.


  1. Truly a hide of beauty young Derek, it has my blessing.

  2. Thank you, I'm sure we'll feel far better using it now.

  3. Great to see the finished article Derek and with the addded blessing of the good Revd no doubt it will attract many good visitors and birds alike.

  4. Let's hope so Mike and weather permitting, a second hide should be installed in the center of the reserve next week.

  5. Wow, that looks really super. As soon as I get walking again after spraining my ankle in December, I'll be across to use it. Not that I'm really getting fed up sitting in the car all day at Elmley waiting for Owls! But I need the fresh sea air. Plus solid frozen ground to walk on.