Reports, with Bird Lists, of our Meetings, Walks and Outings

SUNDAY COACH TRIP
to Elmley NNR

Date: Sunday 5 February 2017 at 07:00

Details:

On a cold Sunday morning twenty people boarded a coach for the trip to Elmley Marshes on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.

The marshes are very open and flat which is good for raptors. We saw Marsh Harriers, Hen Harriers, Merlin, Buzzard, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. We had very good views of four Short-eared Owls flying around the area by the farm buildings and there are very few places where you would see as many as this.

It is a long walk to the last hide ( at least three miles ) but there are three other hides and one viewing screen on the way. From the viewing screen, looking up the estuary, we had good views of flocks of ducks and waders. Although the tide was going out we still saw Redshank, Turnstones, Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit and a small flock of Knot and Dunlin. There was also a flock of about 45 Curlews which is rare these days.

This was an RSPB site and has now been taken over by Elmley NNR. There have been few changes to the reserve in the six years since we last went apart from from the car park being made larger and moving the road. Hopefully in future there will be some improvements to the hides overlooking the estuary. Although it lacks some facilities it is a very good place to go bird watching.

The total number of species seen was 72 which was well up on our visit of 2010 when we saw 59 species.

Click Here to see a few photos from the trip

Elmley, 05/2/2017, sunny periods

Mute Swan

Greylag Goose

Canada Goose

Brent Goose

Shelduck

Wigeon

Gadwall

Teal

Mallard

Pintail

Shoveler

Pheasant

Cormorant

Little Egret

Grey Heron

Little Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Marsh Harrier

Hen Harrier

Sparrowhawk

Common Buzzard

Water Rail

Moorhen

Coot

Avocet

Oystercatcher

Golden Plover

Grey Plover

Lapwing

Ringed Plover

Curlew

Black-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit

Turnstone

Knot

Dunlin

Redshank

Snipe

Black-headed Gull

Common Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Herring Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Feral Pigeon

Stock Dove

Wood Pigeon

Collared Dove

Little Owl

Short-eared Owl

Kestrel

Merlin

Magpie

Jackdaw

Carrion Crow

Blue Tit

Bearded Tit

Skylark

Cetti's Warbler

Wren

Starling

Blackbird

Fieldfare (Heard)

Robin

Stonechat

Dunnock

House Sparrow

Pied Wagtail

Meadow Pipit

Chaffinch

Greenfinch

Goldfinch

Reed Bunting

71 Bird Species + 1 heard

Other Wildlife

Hare

20 People

 
---- Original Programme Information ----

view of Elmley NNR

In North Kent, on the south of the Isle of Sheppey. Extensive grazing marshes and views over the Thames mudflats.

Elmley notice boardSeen on various visits during February 2014 - 12 Bewick's Swan, 750 Brent Goose, 6 White-fronted Goose, 12 Little Egrets, 10,000 Wigeon, 400 Shelduck, many Pintail, many Curlew, 2,000 Teal, 50 Avocet, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, 17 Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, 7 Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 3 Peregrine, Merlin, Little Owl, 2 Short-eared Owl, Skylark, Stonechat, 1,000s Lapwing, 3,000 Golden Plover, 23 Ruff, 2,000 Starling, 5 Bearded Tit, flocks of finches and Reed Buntings.

Facilities include -
  • Toilets at the car park.
  • Four hides, many views.
  • Flat paths, can be very muddy or even under water.
  • From the car park to the first hide (Well Marsh) is 2.1Km
  • From the car park to the first three hides, and return is 7Km
  • To visit the distant fourth hide (Spitend), add another 5.8Km

 

Click here for more information about the reserve

Coach trip details -
  • Full payment of £22.50 is required on booking. For under 16s the full cost is only £12.50. These prices include the reserve entrance fee. All money will be refunded if the trip is cancelled.
  • For bookings and any other details, email Helen Pearson , or call Helen on 01628 639648 and leave a voicemail, or see Helen at a meeting. Please book at least one week in advance, preferably much earlier.
  • The coach leaves promptly at 7.00 am from the lay-by in front of the entrance to Braywick Park (Braywick Sports Ground), Braywick Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1DX. There is a free car park inside the park. Please arrive in good time.
  • Consider bringing a packed lunch and any drinks or snacks that you may require.
  • This coach trip involves a journey time of about two hours each way.  During the journey, comfort stops will be made if possible.
  • The coach has room for large items such as telescopes, tripods, hampers and camera bags.