Feeding on the falling tide

On the Medway at Otterham Creek, a handful of the black- headed gulls are beginning to get their dark chocolate brown heads while the majority remain fixed in winter plumage. The gulls sit in roosts and some paddle across the bare mud; they never seem to have to work too hard for their food. TheContinue reading “Feeding on the falling tide”

North Kent Marshes

The low sea wall runs through the middle of the Swale National Nature Reserve and maintains the freshwater grazing marsh on the landward side. Seaward, is a wide expanse of flat and featureless salt marsh, beyond which a huge sandbank rises from the Swale estuary decked with an odd assortment of geese, crows and gulls.Continue reading “North Kent Marshes”

Medway mud

The view from the old quay on Otterham Creek looks north toward the Hoo Peninsula and the heavy industry that edges the east end. The creek empties at low tide leaving a single spine of water between wide mudflats deeply incised by snaking tributaries; teal fly in to forage at the water’s edge and redshankContinue reading “Medway mud”

Upnor and the River Medway

The narrow high street at Upnor drops down the hill to the edge of the Medway; the street today is a smart rendition of Dickensian England with weatherboard houses and fine pubs. Chatham, just upstream across the river, was the Royal Navy’s principal dockyard and the little town, that was built around the old, riversideContinue reading “Upnor and the River Medway”

Oare Creek

The November sunshine is uncomfortably warm. The air is clear, the light bright and wind dead. The boats that line the narrow creek are a picture, most wrapped up for the winter. Redshanks and egrets forage on the mudflats; house sparrows in the pathside hips and haws along with blackbirds and reed buntings. On theContinue reading “Oare Creek”

Cliffe Marshes

The north easterly blows hard across the water of the flooded clay pit and whips the waves into a choppy mess. The sun is surprisingly warm out of the wind and insects work the few flowers, all of them yellow; including bristly ox-tongue that swamps every patch of waste ground and yellow-wort that peppers theContinue reading “Cliffe Marshes”

Winter Sun

Oare Marshes, North Kent, December 14th 2016 The sun shines low in the sky and the few high clouds pay scant attention to the stretched blue canvas. The wind warms from the south, and the drying day is a break from the blanket of brooding drizzle. The familiar view of church and brewery in distant Faversham sitsContinue reading “Winter Sun”

A Dreich December Day at Lower Halstow

The sou’westerly blows hard and the cloud and drizzle drink the life from the coastal marshes and, usually picturesque, small boats squatting in the inlet on the wide expanse of rivened flats. Small numbers of redshanks and black-headed gulls potter across the mud, the redshanks perfectly camouflaged in soft grey.  Black arrows of Brent geese flyContinue reading “A Dreich December Day at Lower Halstow”