What a great morning after all that rain and cloud, went to Shorne marshes for a walk. Somewhere out here there is an RSPB reserve. I'm hoping that after they have sorted Cliffe marshes out they will be able to turn their attention to this place and help improve and maintain the habitat, maybe even get a few wader scrapes, who knows.
This is the now unused Thames and Medway canal. The Rivers Thames and Medway were joined by this eight-mile long canal, the construction of which started in 1805. With basins providing ports and access to the two rivers at Gravesend and Strood, the canal passed through a two-mile Higham tunnel, broken in the centre by a shaft to allow boats to pass. Construction was difficult and expensive and it was not completed until 1824.
On the walk down to the river Thames, I managed to see a couple of small heath butterflies, this one has its face buried in the buttercup.
The walk is an easy one along a metalled track and either side there are good stands of hawthorn and dog rose which are favoured by goldfinch.
Down nearer the river embankment it gets easier to see the marsh frogs that are calling everywhere. Most of the time I kick them up out of the grass bordering the ditches and they jump back into the water and disappear but with this one, I noticed it, before it noticed me.
I also picked up this female banded demoiselle.
The surrounding grazing marsh is alive with bird song, with skylarks being predominant.
My species list for the walk is as follows:
sandwich tern 3, common tern 2, cettis warbler 4, sedge warbler 2, reed warbler 10, hobby 2, reed bunting 4, turtle dove 1, whitethroat 1, stonechat 1, pomarine skua 1 immature, holly blue 4, common blue 20, green-veined white 3, small white 4, small heath 3, four-spotted chaser 4, azure damselfly, blue-tailed damselfly, hairy dragonfly 1 and banded demoiselle 1. There was also plenty of evidence of water voles but I didn't see any.