Saturday 23 January 2010

Harty Marshes and Leysdown

I started of on my journey to Isle of Sheppey with a year tick flying over the Thanet Way in the shape of a Great .S. Woodpecker , good start to the day i thought . On arriving on Sheppey i headed straight for Harty Marshes in the hope of some good raptor watching and hoping to connect with some wild swans and geese.

As i passed Mocketts farm i noticed a large flock of swans in the fields quite close to the road at the bottom of the hill , so i made my way there and set up my scope to scan through and to my delight among 200 + Mutes their was approx 40 Bewick's Swans and as much as i tried after several scans i could not turn any of them in to Whoopers .

I then carried on towards the raptor watch point taking my time checking everything that moved / flew and i soon come across a small flock of pipits on the telegraph wires which turned out to be 26 Meadow Pipits which had 3 Corn Buntings mixed in with them , whilst watching these a party of 7 Red-Legged Partridge run down the road in front of me then took flight across the fields .

Once at the raptor watch point i done several scans for approx an hour and came up with 5 Marsh Harriers ( 1 male , 2 females and 2 juvs ) 2 Kestrels and that was it a little disappointing  , i was hoping to connect with Merlin , Peregrine and S-E Owl but i guess you cant have everything , there's always another day ! I also added 6 Ruff from this site and had approx 50 Golden Plovers fly over.

2 Black Headed Gulls & 1 Oystercatcher

From here i headed to Leysdown to try and catch up on some waders and was soon adding 10 Grey Plover, several Turnstone , 200 + Oystercatchers plus smaller numbers of Redshank, Dunlin and Curlew to my days total, checking through the gulls produced good numbers of Common Gulls mixed in with very large numbers of Black Headed Gulls .

The above picture is of 2 Black-Headed Gulls and an Oystercatcher taken at Leysdown .
I popped into Oare Marshes on the way home again and added Bearded tit, Rock Pipit , Ringed Plover and Little Egret to my year list , plus there was good numbers of the usual ducks and waders you would expect to see there i wont bore you with all the details except i thought 200 + Avocet and 50 + Common Snipe were good totals .