An evening out with the Swale RG began at 7.40pm on Friday night when we set off for the Isle of Sheppey. The trip was uneventful but on nearing the bridge to the island a huge black cloud could be seen hanging in the distance. This was neither forecast or expected and we feared that the session may be called off at the last minute. However we continued and arrived 45 minutes early allowing time for a brief drop in at the Harty Ferry Inn. By 10.30pm we were at the potato sheds and kitting up before being taken by 4x4 to some shallow pools on the marsh. 5 nets were erected before heavy rain started, and continued for some minutes.
A few birds were captured prior to high tide at 2.30am with more arriving at peak tide level. If turned out to be a pleasingly varied catch, if of modest quantity.
I learnt that a) Curlews and Whimbrels smell very different to other waders that I have handled, b) The group had never had a retrapped Whimbrel before this catch, c) it is unusual to catch Black-tailed Godwit and Golden Plover at this time of year at the site and d) I really should have more appreciation for Stanwell mud which is much less glutinous than the mud experienced at Harty.
Many thanks to Rod and the team.
Grey Plover – 1
Golden Plover - 1
Black-tailed Godwit – 1
Bar-tailed Godwit – 1
Curlew – 3
Whimbrel – 9 (1)Redshank –3
Greenshank – 1