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Saturday, 9 December 2017

Cooling Marshes of late

Another winter is here and another chance to visit a site that I have been lucky enough to survey now for 5 years.

Seeing it change from fields/ditches to a new breach over the course of time has been a privilege, different habitats but both providing great areas for birds.

Last Sunday (3rd) at high tide was probably the largest high tide count I have had there with a massive 453 Shelduck, 214 Grey Plover, 3300 Dunlin and 181 Avocet.

Impressive totals and by far the largest counts so far.

Black Tailed Godwit and Knot roost

One of the resident Kestrels hunting near by

Distant shot of a Merlin after a Linnet

Dunlin and Grey Plover

Raptors are being seen regularly, the hoped for Hen Harrier as yet have failed to materialize, the numbers of old are gone, the impact of consistent persecution up north on Grouse Moors has sadly reduced them drastically.

I can still remember seeing up to 8 birds wintering on Rainham Marshes many years ago on the Silt Lagoons, hopefully those days will come back.

Marsh Harriers however are faring well as are Merlin, on Sunday I saw both male and female both hunting over the fields.

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