Walland Marsh - cold, grey and grim, ne 2 - 0800hrs - For a change of scene me and the dog headed out for a wander around the Cheyne Court area of the Marsh, in less than inviting weather, and at times accompanied by a fine drizzle. However, we didn't meet another human in almost three hours; sometimes you just need to be alone with nature, and there was plenty of that on offer this morning.
The name of the game was numbers with an enormous flock of 2,000 Golden Plovers and 1,000 Lapwings swirling over the wet meadows every time a Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier or Peregrine threatened, which in turn also attracted hundreds of Common and Black-headed Gulls, corvids, Woodpigeons, Stock Doves and Starlings into the sky to make quite a spectacle.
There were plenty of smaller passerines present too with Song Thrushes the most numerous thrush at 50, along with 20 Blackbirds and 10 Mistle Thrushes, but only a handful of Fieldfares. Also noted were small groups of Corn Buntings (20), Skylarks, Mipits, Pied Wagtails and Chaffinches.
A rape-seed field held around 500 Greylags and 20 Canada Geese, plus 25 White-fronts and five Tundra Bean Geese, while amongst 120 Mute Swans were five Bewick`s Swans, although there could've been a few more in an adjacent field which was difficult to view without flushing the lot.
On the way back to the coast I drove passed Midley to check on the bird feeders where the usual Tree Sparrows, finches, tits and the like were feasting on seeds and nuts. Further along the lane by the drying barns I was reminded of the down side of humanity when confronted with a fly-tipped load of freshly dumped building materials. I had a look through to see if there was anything of a personal nature in the rubbish in an attempt to identify who`d done the dirty deed, but could find none, and reported it to Shepway DC via their website when I got home.
This kind of incident is becoming more and more common across the Marsh and there doesn't seem to be any way of preventing it, particularly in remote spots such as Midley, although I`m sure a more thorough analysis of fly-tipped stuff would better the chance of nailing the perpetrators. Apparently, the Magistrate Courts can dish out a maximum £50,000 fine or 12 months in prison (I wonder how often that is dished out?) and in exceptional cases, crush the vehicle (which is probably hardly ever done).