I headed first for Elmley, left (you can see the bridge onto Sheppey in the distance). Today was also a recce to check access around Sheppey and at Elmley and you can drive someone in a wheelchair, down the lengthy track to the first hide. But the walk has its compensations, giving me views of Marsh Harriers and a Buzzard hunting over the fields and sending up flocks of Lapwings and a few Golden Plover.
I had the whole hide to myself and had great views of Marsh Harriers, Kestrels, a pair of Stonechats and of course, plenty of wildfowl.
In the afternoon, I checked out Shellness at the far end of Sheppey and found an excellent parking area that would allow (as it's quiet in Winter) for me to park our van side-on to the beach. When we can do this, Thomas turns his wheelchair sideways in the van with the side door open so that he can sea-watch in comfort! Also, the shoreline here was great for Waders and Gulls.
As it started to get dark (all too early this time of year!) I headed back toward the middle of Sheppey, on the way I nearly ran over a small covey of Red-legged Partridges scurrying across the road. I made my way to the Raptor Watchpoint along Harty Ferry Road and joined another hopeful birder. The guy there, told me how he had seen up to eight Short-eared Owls there just before Christmas (there's been quite an influx from the continent this year) but although we scanned hard we saw neither Short-eared Owl or Hen Harrier. But I was very content watching a Merlin dash down the Fleet and see at least five Marsh Harriers gliding in to roost in the fading light.