19th July 2015
I hadn't been to Elmley Marshes in the summer months before and was aware that it could be fairly quiet compared to the busy winter months. I was not disappointed. Following the departure of the RSPB, Elmley Estates have re-routed the track down from the car park to avoid the houses and shepherds huts with the old route rejoining by the sea wall. This is a shame as you lose the view over the Little Owl trees and the panoramic view over the marshes. It was in fact dead all the way to the first hide apart from several Bearded Tits, which as I have said before seem to have had a very good year. I had had high hopes for the scrape in front of the hide with the afternoon sun behind us..........but it was baked dry!!!
So, perhaps not such a good idea after all so we started the return journey to the car. Then, about half way back we flushed a female Marsh Harrier which was sitting about 40 yards from the path. However, what was surprising was that the bird, instead of flying straight off, flew away a hundred or so yards and then flew back and did a couple of laps obviously wanting to return to the same area. Presumably it had young in the reeds nearby. Anyway an opportunity not to be missed.
However, when we returned to the car park we still had one more surprise in store. A hundred or so Sand Martins had gathered on the wires outside the barn and were obviously feeding up before their long journey back to Africa. So a rather quiet afternoon turned out to be OK after all.