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These are the species recorded in the area so far this year. over Sheppey and on the Swale, and on adjacent areas to the reserve itself, west to Uplees copse and in the trees and scrub opposite the cottages.
The only addition to the year list this month was a Jack Snipe on 1st which brought the total for the year to 170 species (two more than last year). The drake Green-winged Teal, though elusive at times, was seen on many dates up to at least 29th with two reported on 7th and 23rd.
Pochard were scarce, but vision remains frustratingly obscured along Ham Road !
With six juveniles in the goose party, this was contrary to the numbers of juveniles seen off South Swale a week ago, where there were single figures within the thousand plus goose flock.
The drake Green-winged Teal was seen again on the east flood on 3rd but is proving very elusive.
Other birds of note have included a flock of 14 Siskins flying west on 28th, a Short-eared Owl on 29th, a Bittern, a Spoonbill and a Jack Snipe (flushed from the roadside ditch by a Chinook helicopter) on 1st, a Goosander on 2nd and a ringtail Hen Harrier on 3rd. Male Green-winged Teal still present roosting among the Teal.
A Little Owl was prominently perched in a favoured spot, and returning on the road , a Merlin swept low across the arable fields and over the creek towards Nagden.
28 Gadwall; 76 Teal and 54 Tufted Duck accumulatively were in Ham Road ponds with 3 Great-crested Grebes and circa 40 Coot.
circa 2000 Wigeon were well into TQ around South Deep and Fowley Island although no sign for me of the Shorelarks, and confirmed separately by two familiar faces. reported Shorelarks returning to the seawall from Fowley—-c`est la vie !