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New visitors to the Marsh

George had the wonderful pleasure of spotting a Spoonbill flying across the Marsh on one of his daily walks with Holly our elderly Golden Retriever. Spoonbills are very unusual and our resident RSPB bird warden says they have only been seen once every three to four years on the Marsh. The Spoonbill is a large white heron like bird with a long broad black bill, spoon-shaped at the tip. The adult has yellowish breast band and in breeding season a long yellowish crest. They enjoy shallow fresh and coastal waters, nesting colonially in trees, bushes and reed beds in marshy areas.

There are also a pair of Ringed Plovers on the Marsh. They have a distinctive pied head and breast pattern, prominent pale wing bar and orange-yellow legs. Normally found along sandy and shingly seashores, they can be found inland on marshland close to the sea.

The Marshes are truly beautiful at this time of year. The meadows are full of wild flowers and the birds are busy with their young. We have heard the cuckoo regularly since early May. No sign yet of the marsh harriers or the fox cubs so far this year. Lots and lots of rabbits though! We have also had a large snake, 4ft long basking in the sun on our drive way. Unfortunately we were not quick enough with the camera and still not sure what it was!! A little scary for all!

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