Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Wednesday 26th December - Boxing Day

The breakout and burn off from yesterday's excesses saw me and the family heading up to Shellness, Sheppey via the Boxing Day sales. Inadvertently I managed to get us there at high tide, so what had been planned as a brisk walk turned into a bit of an ardous wade! Unforunately the first thing that greeted us on the blockhouse beach was a dead Little Egret. The kids didn't seem to mind and built sandcastles around it as only the young and innocent can! I managed a few cursery glances across the beach and the Swale. The wader roost, west of the blockhouse, consisted mainly of Grey Plover, Knot, Ringed Plover, Sanderling & Turnstone. Occasional erruptions of Redshank and Meadow Pipit were seen over the salt marsh. A couple of Marsh Harriers flapped across the Swale, and I was disappointed to hear I'd missed a male Hen Harrier reported over the seawall earlier in the afternoon.

Our plan to drive to the Ferry Boat Inn was thwarted on reading the new 'opening times' sign just off the main Leysdown road which informed us that the pub had closed 5 minuteds before! Instead I managed to persuade my wife that it was too early to go home and wrangled a drive down the Elmley entrance track around 15:30 with the promise of a drink in the Hook & Hatchet on the way back home. We were rewarded with 2 sightings of Short-eared Owls, one sitting periodically on a post just short of the new bungalow by the car park, apparently trying to out wit a stoat which slipped from ditch to ditch. I managed a couple of poor record shots of one of the owls on the ground - bear in mind I had 2 kids and a wife in the car, the light was failing fast and the camera was hand-held against one of my binocular eyepieces!

Hopefully more 'local' reports to follow this week.

1 comment:

Steve said...

some nice pics Adam - amazed that you managed such a good picture of SEO with that set up!

Your tales of you out with your kids makes me laugh...