Leaving 'the sauna' to the group , who had been moved on from the Wellmarsh hide by a bigger group , I started my way back to the car . Along the ditch that I was following , several 'plops' were heard , and with many holes along it's length , I was hoping for a Water Vole , but they turned out to be frogs , like the one seen watching me pass , amongst the debris on the surface . A bit further along , I managed to get a shot of one , just before it , a Marsh Frog , joined in with the 'plop chorus ' . Apart from more birds moving from the Swale to the scrapes as the tide reached it's peak , things were quiet on my walk back . Just before reaching the car park , a Goldcrest was busily flitting amongst the trees looking for it's next meal .
On the drive back along the track , a Little Egret was much more confiding than any seen earlier . The Lapwings were displaying along the length of the track , and I stopped to watch what I thought were a male and female . The suspected male was strutting around , with it's back end always towards the female and the preferred nest site , whilst clucking like a mother hen . The suspected female seemed uninterested for a long time , but then came closer and joined in the clucking . Eventually , she tried the site for size , whilst doing a bit of housework to improve it . Sorted I thought , but how wrong I was as after a lot more housework and clucking , she got up and walked away , leaving him with a blank look .
From Elmley , I did my usual run to Capel Fleet , arriving as the sunshine was starting to get milky , and one of my first sightings was a Marsh Harrier , carrying quite a sizable piece of nesting material . This proved to be first of at least six Marsh Harriers seen there , but more of that tomorrow .
A few shots from today , having escaped the yard and got onto the Greensand Ridge , I found my first two Grass Snakes of the year , the first too quick to photograph , but the second stayed for a short time , before it also exited at speed . And , on a deep cut bank , the first Wood Sorrel/Oxalis acetosella that I have found in flower this year .
News from the garden when I got home , Carol had two Brimstones this afternoon , and a pair of Blue Tits are building their nest in the box on the garage , let's hope they will be successful .
15 hours ago