31 May 2012

Tribute to Gordon Allison

It’s a little belated, but only last week that I learned of the untimely premature passing of Gordon Allison warden of RSPB Elmley a very knowledgeable and respected man in all aspects of wildlife conservation.
Gordon was more than happy sharing his vast wildlife knowledge with anybody that was in anyway interested in nature, because that, is what he lived for,  dedicated and passionate about his work, serving the RSPB.
 He gave far more to the job than was ever demanded of him and the RSPB will be hard pushed in filling his position with someone as passionate.
His dedication to conserving and managing the North Kent Marshes will provide a lasting legacy for all, Gordon had so much more to offer the area, and he enriched the lives of many, including mine.
We and all God’s creatures will miss you. rest in peace.

Elmley on Thursday 30-5-12

Trouble with sleeping, when that happens, only one thing to do, get Up, have a  cup of tea, my thoughts then turned to putting the day to good use, birding sprang to mind, then location, and Sheppey won, first stop rspb Elmley there were birds all over the place, first encounter was a hunting Short Eared Owl which loomed at me from over the seawall and settling in some rough, I thought this is going well, and it did, the toll was as follows.
Five Marsh Harrier, four Brown Hare,Umpteen Rabbits of various sizes, Tufted Duck sixteen, on wellmarsh, Avocets, two Reed Bunting, BH Gulls in profusion and so was the noise, two Shelduck, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Shoveler, four Little Egret, one Heron, nine Skylark, one trapped Swallow in the gents toilet as a result of a screen being put up to save the mess, I opened one of the long windows and ushered him out.
The SE Owl was I suppose the highlight, and I have decided that late starts never caught the worm.

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Frog

The raft this frog is sitting on will probably give away exactly where this was taken,
 alas no prizes.


Reed Bunting

Reed Warbler

Pied Wagtail

Brown Hare


New Hatchlings

29 May 2012

Hasty Retreat

One I forgot to publish, this tufted duck strayed to near to a couple of Avocets who did not find this birds presence that close to their nesting site, so took appropriate action to the ducks detriment.

28 May 2012

Stag Beatle

I have not seen one of these for some years, this was a chance encounter at the Bull public house, Snodland , I did not have my camera with me so I took these shots with my Mobile Phone, a Samsung Galaxy S2 not the best of pics but it did save the day.

Thursday outing to Sheppey.

Thursday found me winging my way in the direction of Sheppey and RSPB Elmley, the day was very warm considering recent temperatures, my thoughts were perhaps seeing a butterfly or two, and, at Elmley I was not disappointed, my first sighting of an Orange Tip was most welcome.

At the farm the gents toilet revealed Swallows renovating a last years nest and just inside the door further construction of a new nest, the scrapes behind the farm have ten plus Avocet pairs nesting.

Wellmarsh scrape produced one pair of Common Terns, a profusion of BH Gulls, four Tufted Duck a high flying Buzzard using the thermals, a hunting Marsh Harrier, a few Redshank which are also nesting either side of the farm approach.

Probably the highlight of the day was the Yellow Wagtail sitting on one of the gate posts when heading back towards the main road, alas did not have my camera to hand.

18 May 2012

Nice couple of hours 17-5-12

Couple of hours at RSPB ELmley on Thursday, took a few pics as seen below.

Birds seen were two Common Buzzard, possible Red Kite also seen by another birder two Marsh Harrier, avocets were way over east of Wellmarsh, two Canada Geese, dozen or so Greylag Geese, shelduck, Redshank, Tufted Duck, Oyster Catcher.

The Wellmarsh scrape was inundated with Black Headed Gulls they seem to have taken over the Avocets nesting places, whether in fact they would by, choice be there is debateable, as the feeding conditions for the Avocets is by no means ideal, the water is, after all this rain rather high, thus making easy feeding difficult for these birds.

In all and summing up I suppose the performing Redshanks were the highlight and thus have my vote.   

Acrobatic Bluetit

Lapwing and Chick, Elmley.

Mating B H Gulls

Courting Redshank at Elmley

Rabbit at Elmley

9 May 2012

Trip to a nursery.

A visit to Nottcuttes for a browse around, after which I visited the Potted Garden where, in just ten minutes took the four pictures below, using my Panasonic G2 with a 100 - 300 four thirds format lens these days I tend to leave the heavy gear behind.

4 May 2012

Harts Tongue Fern surviving on lime mortar to my knowledge it is five years old, I have one I procured in Devon and that gains a height of about 14 inches.



Goldfinches on my feeder