We arrived at Oare Marshes Nature Reserve on the North Kent Marshes at about 7 a.m. Target birds for today being Turtle Dove, Garganey (which Paul needs for his year list) and Nightingale.
After parking the car, the first bird we saw was a male Marsh Harrier over the East Flood, this bird appeared on and off throughout the day and a female was seen distantly over Sheppey later on.
Two Cuckoos were noted, one calling near the paddocks and another seen and heard past Dan's Dock. A few Oystercatchers, a single Curlew, twelve Avocets, a few Lapwings and well over one hundred Black-tailed Godwits were all the wader species we could find.
A Lesser Whitethroat rattled out its song at the paddocks near the cottages but it took some time to get a glimpse of it. At least three Cetti's Warblers were heard but none were seen.
BLACK-TAILED GODWITS (Graham)
At least six Little Egrets were seen and, at about 8 a.m., as we were heading for the West Flood, an egret flew past us heading west and quite low. A broad-based pale yellow bill, long legs with no yellow on feet and obviously larger and with slower wing-beats than a Little Egret ... a Great White Egret!
LITTLE EGRET (Graham)
At the reedbed at the East Flood, five Bearded Tits were a treat to see. Two Common Terns were also at the East Flood with another six noted along the Swale. Only about six Yellow Wagtails were seen along with several Meadow Pipits.
Male YELLOW WAGTAIL (Graham)
Two adult Mediterranean Gulls flew over the sea wall and out over the Swale and the final bird of note was a Hobby that flew low over the East Flood heading west.
All in all, a very good day's birding, despite the changeable weather today that started chilly and breezy, changed to sunny, calm and warm, then to heavy showers accompanied by claps of thunder and then ended with sunshine but threatening clouds in the distance.
Although we failed to connect with any of our target birds, seeing the Great White Egret made up for that.
Paul & Graham