Today's birding was between Elmley NNR and Stodmarsh, I chose Elmley.I was there from 13:15 to 16:20. It was a beautiful day, calm, warm, ans sunny. I stayed in the Wellmarsh Hide, I sat in "Ken's Corner", I initialled that spot shortly after the hide was moved and rebuilt in 2003, the other hides are a no no for me. But all the same it turned out to very enjoyable. On the wildfowl front there was a good number of birds, at the far end was a largish gaggle of Brent Geese, with smaller flocks of Canada and Greylag Geese.
All the duck species was looking good with the sun on them. Species seen was: Mallard, Shelduck, Shoveller, Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall. Waders was very scare, as usual Lapwing was in good numbers,
other species was a few scattered here and there, Avocet (3) Curlew (9)Turnstone(1). There was 3 Red Legged Partridge preening on a mound just to the right of the hide.
My main aim was to look for birds of prey, and owls. I was expecting to see quite a few MARSH HARRIERS about, which there was, and up in the blue was even a pair sky dancing. I also saw 10 COMMON BUZZARDS. From here on it was a matter of waiting and looking, and my patients paid off, I managed to get 3 more species, 2 KESTRELS a female MERLIN on a post, and a PEREGRINE FALCON on a post eating it's catch. So I did manage to see some great birds, and I went away very happy...........BUT if someone had told me I was going to see what I did about a 1/4 to 1/2 way down the track leaving the car park I would not have believed them. When you see a couple of cars parked up one just has to stop and look, and it turns out to be 2 SHORT EARED OWLS. 1 would have done but 2? IT Didn't end there, another one was on the opposite side of the track, Pam spotted it, bear with me, so there was the 2 out of the passenger window which I was watching, the 1 Pam was watching, and then another 1flew across the road behind us between us and another car. I could not believe what I was watching, I am willing to bet I will never see this again. Below is a few shot, it was difficult because the sun was behind this one just off to the left.
I could have stayed and watched them for ages but it was now 16:20 and the gates locked at 17:00. There was also 7 Hares showing well.
The other species seen was: Mute Swan. Grey Heron. Herring Gull. B/H/Gull. Cormorant. Coot
This is where I pick my bird of the day, but today it has to be ** Birds Of The Day** and that is the ** SHORT EARED OWLS**.