The Isle of Sheppey in North Kent is our destination for this day of winter birding.
We explore the beaches and fields around Shellness NNR for waders and wildfowl such as Tundra Swan, Eurasian White-fronted Goose, Hooded Crow, Purple Sandpiper, Ruff and European Golden Plover. Red-breasted Merganser, Common and Velvet Scoter and Red-throated Diver can be seen offshore.
It is however raptors that make this a day to remember. We hope to see large numbers of Western Marsh Harrier hunting over the reed-beds and maybe Hen Harrier in surrounding fields. Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, Eurasian Sparrowhawk and Common Kestrel hunt small birds and mammals and in some winters, Rough-legged Buzzard can be seen.
As dusk falls we hope to see Western Barn and Short-eared Owls quartering the rough grassland. Corn Buntings sit on the wires before going to roost in dense brambles.
A day not to be missed!
(Does not include reserve admission charges)