- Nature Notes
Farming and land management
Happy New Year everyone. We have either feast or famine with bird number on the marsh at the moment. Bouts of hard frost and the prolonged dry spell means we are yet to see very large numbers for sustained periods so fingers crossed we see some rain by March! On a positive note the relative lack of wind and many clear days means raptors are showing well across the reserve. Barn owls are kestrel numbers are beginning to fall as the overnights temperatures and prey numbers drop. The New Year will bring new visitors to Elmley so please do help them enjoy the Reserve without disturbing the wildlife they would like to see. As ever we are grateful if you can advise people getting out of their car on the entry road they have the best chance of seeing a wonderful glimpse of something if they stay inside their car, or point new visitors onto the viewing screen to see over the Swale rather than mount he bank elsewhere. Thank you all for your continued support and do collect your 2017 car sticker on your next visit, either from David in the farm yard or the office if he is not available.
Friends of Elmley Renewals
2017 stickers now available for collection or send a SAE to us - Kingshill Farm, Elmley, Kent, ME12 3RW. If collecting, David is here Mon, Tues & Friday's and is usually around the car park or farmyard. The stickers work with static not glue so if you want to take it off you can. It will re-stick with a drop of water and a little pressure next time.
Renewals keep trickling in. Thank you to everyone who has paid their 2016-17 subs in person or by Paypal. Don't worry if you don't know when to pay as you will receive an email from us or Paypal at the time.
Thoughts from a Regular
Well, the trend didn’t continue, the weather has remained changeable, so the usual ideal conditions for multiple flocks of Waders and Wildfowl have not been fully achieved yet. Having said that, Lapwings are regularly seen in huge flying flocks in the distant east side of the marsh, the Ruff flock that joins them every year has grown too nine birds The Wigeon flock that gathers around Coot Corner at present numbers around sixty birds, a few years ago this would have been around two to three thousand birds, but I think the commercial feeding for the wildfowling just outside the reserve boundaries has drawn them away, as they still appear in large numbers at the high tide roost, just below the Swale viewing screen. Good to see a mobile roost of ten Marsh Harriers together. Look out for a Kingfisher that has taken to the dyke to the east of the cover crop, altho’ we haven’t seen him since the frosts. A Happy birding New Year too all!
8am to sunset at 4.00 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.