Our October KOS Field Outing was on the last day of the month and we spent the day on The Isle of Sheppey. A wet start found us working our way up the Elmley NR entrance track and then onto the hides. The Wellmarsh Hide was nicely sheltered from the elements and being high tide there was plenty of toing and froing especially dabbling duck suck as Pintail, Shoveler, Gadwall and Wigeon and waders like Redshank, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwits, Turnstone, Grey Plover and at least 30 Common Snipe. The latter species huddled together sheltering from the adverse weather. A brief sortie to the Counterwall Hide found it to be in the full force of the weather and unable to even open the flaps. Not so the Southfleet Hide this was again nicely sheltered and good numbers of duck could be studied and discussed at close range.

Our arrival at the car park on our return coincided with the rain stopping and the sun coming out. I decided to look for the recently reported Long-eared Owl and while scanning for it I saw it appear from cover and stretch its wings and tail before calling the group over and we scoped it up in the old orchard. Its long ear tufts and beautiful orange-eyes could be enjoyed. On our exit from the reserve we had 7 Ruff and 12 Cattle Egrets.

We drove along the Capel Fleet Road and had lunch at the Raptor Watchpoint adding 2 Green Sandpipers and a small flock of Corn Bunting. During the afternoon the wind got up and was gusting quite strongly so our low tide walk around Shellness was pretty unproductive although a pair of Avocet found by Adam were a fillip. We stayed until dusk hoping for Owls and Harriers but apart from Marsh Harrier and Kieron having a Little Owl we drew a blank.

The weekend after next we do it all again!

Our next Outdoor Meeting is on Sunday 14th November if you are a KOS member and would like to join us on this or future field trips, please contact Ray O'Reilly by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 07831-362502.

Sorry, due to their popularity, it’s KOS Members Only!

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