Hoping that it was going to be a nice day I decided to go to Elmley for 3 hours. As it happens, the weather forecasters was right.
Skylarks, Little Egrets, Lapwing Marsh Harrier, Pheasant was seen from the track going to the car park. I was hoping to see a Yellow Wagtail, but it wasn't to be. Once at the car park it was nice to see so many House Sparrows nesting in so many boxes that they have put up, plus the Swallow has returned to nest again in the ladies toilet, plus Chaffinch,Greenfinch, and Dunnock in the orchard.
The birds of interest on the way to the hides was a good number of Reed Warblers singing, a male Reed Bunting, a Dabchick in breeding plumage, Little Egrets,and a pair of Coots with 5 little ones bringing up the rear and Mute Swan sitting on a nest,
While Pamela and I was sitting having lunch in the car park area a passerine flew up and sat on one of the fence post not far away, it turned out to be a male **WHEATEAR**. This was a first for me, so even if I saw nothing different I was happy.
I was surprised that there wasn't that many people there. so it meant that I had the Wellmarsh Hide to myself most of the time which meant I got to sit in my favourite place (Ken's corner) I wasn't expecting to see many different species of birds, due to the fact that they have gone home for the summer, but what I did see was enough to keep me entertained. Out in front of the hide was a good number of Avocet, most of them courting and mating, and B/H/Gulls doing the same thing.
Other species of bird that dropped in now and again was: Oystercatcher, Teal, Wigeon,Shelduck, Redshank, Common Tern which kept returning the whole time. The ones that stayed the whole time was: Mallard, Shoveller, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Moorhen, Coot.
In between scanning the reserve I did a bit of sky watching, as you do straight away I got onto 2 Common Buzzards soaring on the thermals, then it seemed like wherever I looked there was Marsh Harriers.
Later on during my visit I picked up on 6 in the same area though my bins, but after getting the scope on them I picked up on some more,4 to be precise higher up, 10 is something I have never seen before in one part of the sky. It goes to show that the breeding population of Marsh Harriers in the area is very successful.
It's strange that when people like me/you go to other places in the country where they are found how excited other people get when they see one, yet if you live down this area you don't really take much notice of them, it's like "Oh yeh a harrier".
Getting back to birds I saw, there was a good number of Avocets in the pools at the far end, plus Canada Geese, and Greylags, Mute Swan, Cormorant was sitting on a post, 2 pair of Pochard, and a few of the prior mentioned wildfowl: Shelduck, Wigeon Tufted Duck.
Through out the whole time I was there I must have see a good dozen or so Swallows darting back and forth from one end to the other. Birds I saw passing through was: G/B/B/Gull, L/B/B/Gull, Herring Gull, C/Crow, W/Pigeon, Collared Dove, Starling.
After leaving the hide and making our way back to the farm house the same species was seen apart from a Grey Heron..
Before leaving I had a quick look over the wall next to the toilet block when me and another birder watched another Wheatear land down by the owl boxes, this time it was a female, a pair of them in one day, I am very happy with that.
Heading back down the track I was hoping to see one or more Hare, one would have done, but I had no luck, not like Greenie, talk about right place right time, if you want to see how many he saw then have a look at his blog , http://www.greenieinthewild.blogspot.co.uk/ . Nice photo's Greenie.
After a enjoyable afternoon at Elmley the species of bird I saw in all was as follows:
MUTE SWAN, GREYLAG GEESE, CANADA GEESE, CORMORANT, G/B/B/GULL, L/B/B/GULL, HERRING GULL, B/H/GULL, COMMON TERN, MARSH HARRIER, COMMON BUZZARD, GREY HERON, LITTLE EGRET, MALLARD, SHELDUCK, SHOVELLER, TUFTED DUCK, POCHARD, GADWALL, WIGEON, TEAL, LITTLE GREBE, MOORHEN, COOT, AVOCET, OYSTERCATCHER, REDSHANK, LAPWING, PHEASANT, CARRION CROW, WOOD PIGEON, COLLARED DOVE, STARLING, HOUSE SPARROW, SWALLOW, REED WARBLER, REED BUNTING, WHEATEAR, SKYLARK, CHAFFINCH, GREENFINCH, DUNNOCK.
Time for me to select my "Bird of the day". Not difficult, it has to be the male ** WHEATEAR.**
Below is a 3 Avocet pictures that I took and 1 B/H/Gull