7th December : Isle of Sheppey
Ringtail Hen Harrier
On Saturday the 7th December a birdwatching trip to the Isle of Sheppey proved to be a very successful one , starting off walking from the car park at Shellness which was busy with many Meadow Pipits & Reed Buntings in the nearby bushes (which used to be very good for Twite in years gone by).
We walked out onto the Swale NNR , plenty of Little Egrets in the pools plus good numbers of Brent Geese flying overhead and landing in the adjacent fields.
4 of the 5 Pink Footed Geese.
As we were approaching the hide a scan across the fields produced 5 Pink Footed Geese which were hunkered down and we saw them later in flight on the way back, there was also a Peregrine Falcon sat in a nearby field keeping an eye on proceedings.
As we went past the hide we were treated to a really great view of a Ringtail Hen Harrier which was amazing to see.
We carried on and eventually found the Tundra Bean Goose which was feeding among the Greylag Geese.
Tundra Bean Goose with Greylag Geese.
Tundra Bean Goose.
Lots of Marsh Harrier, Kestrel & Common Buzzard were seen with constant calling Curlew was really wonderful to see and hear.
A Corn Bunting heard but remained unseen on the way back plus a good size winter flock of Skylark was seen, we decided to head to Elmley NNR for the afternoon which proved to be a very good choice.
Long eared Owl
We parked up in the reserve car park and were soon looking for the roosting Long eared Owls , they took some finding but eventually i managed to find them with one bird showing well.
Thankfully they are well out of reach for shall we say over enthusiastic photographers & birdwatchers (so hopefully no disturbance).
Long eared Owl
Overlooking the fields from the car park we were treated to 5 Short eared Owls, which showed very well, plus a Little Owl was heard and also a Barn Owl was heard to.
Short eared Owl
Digi scoped Short eared Owl
The drive along the track can be very productive with lots of Marsh Harriers , Kestrel & Common Buzzard seen plus a further 3 Short eared Owls.
We also saw plenty of Lapwing close to the track and a superb Brown Hare was seen very well, a really great day on Sheppey indeed !!!