Friday, 24 February 2017

Leysdown-On-Sea, Sheppey

As I spend more time in Leysdown than anywhere else - it's where I live, so that seems right - and I haven't had the chance to go far from it recently, I thought I'd do a blog on some of the more common bird sights of the area. There are so many more birds to see around here than featured in this blog -  including in my garden, which I may get round to writing about sometime. (You may notice I'm not exactly good at keeping up with the blog.)

This selection of pics will give you some idea of what you can see on an ordinary winter's day :

 Leysdown has amusement arcades that run down to the sea, and Gulls of different kinds and Starlings are the most common visitors in winter - not many people about - along with the Pied Wagtails that brave the roads.

If you walk down to the seafront and catch the tide right, you will usually see a selection of waders - Oystercatchers, Turnstones, Sanderlings, Redshanks and Curlews among others, flying low across the water, dotted along the tideline and up and down the beach.

At this time of year, you're also likely to see Brent Geese, marching across the pools on the beach or bobbing in the sea. Noisy lot.

Magpies, Jackdaws and Crows are here in quite large numbers - but I've not seen a Rook in Leysdown, though they are numerous elsewhere on Sheppey. (That may mean I just haven't seen them, not that they're not here.)

Magpies gather in the bush at the end of the road and often foray into the gardens and guttering of the bungalows opposite.

Jackdaws hang around the village, looking ready for a fight.

There are so many more - thrushes, raptors, finches etc etc - and not least the House Sparrow - but one of the constants and one of my favourites is the Kestrel. One hovering over the fields opposite me, or perched on the telegraph poles is always a welcome sight.

Leysdown is just one small area of the Isle of Sheppey - and there are many others which are well-known to birders, but for me, as a local patch, it always seems to produce something new or wonderfully familiar to see.