Sunday, 5 May 2013

Elmley in a late start to Spring

Elmley, on the Isle of Sheppey, can be a marvellous place. Usually the drive from the road to the car park takes me 1-2 hours depending on what is there. Yesterday afternoon, it didn't take me so long, as I didn't see much on the way in. I walked down to the first hide. Almost immediately I saw, distantly, the Bonaparte's gull which promptly moved further away after a few short hops into the air.

A mute swan was nesting near the track.

Mute swan - female.

There were plenty of ducks, waders and marsh birds. The avocets were busy mating!
Avocets
The marsh harriers terrorised the whole marsh!! Some turnstones walked around the edge.
Turnstone
A female wigeon passed by with a large wound on the side of her head. Wonder what happened to her?
Widgeon - Female - with head injury!
There were quite a few pochards, especially lone females.

Pochard - female
Two common terns circled the Wellmarsh Hide. My first terns for this year. A male pheasant passed very near the path.

A gorgeous male pheasant
I started back to the carpark. I was the last to leave. I had nearly reached the exit when an oystercatcher came very close.

Oystercatcher

Shortly after that I passed a pair of red-legged partridges literally on the side of the road. I stopped and reversed but they had already gone further away. Anyway, this shot is handheld in poor light just before sunset.



Red-legged partridge





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