Summer has arrived, and the first cuckoo was heard on the marshes on May 10th, coming from the direction of Chartham.
The surviving trunk and main boughs of the poplar on the old railway embankment that was heavily cut back last year are still in demand by nesting birds. Stock doves and great spotted woodpeckers (left) are currently taking advantage of its rotting wood and old cavities, evidently unfazed by the tree’s changed appearance.
A helmeted guinea fowl (right), resident across the river, is seen on the Marshes from time to time foraging in the taller riverside vegetation. Native to sub-Saharan Africa, guinea fowl were probably introduced in the early 16th century by Portuguese traders, when the bird became known as the ‘Tudor turkey’.
Photos courtesy of Dave Smith