A trip to Oare Marshes NR on the North Kent marshes today was pleasing and disappointing at the same time.
Our targets today were Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint, but we failed miserably with both species.
Around 12 Swallows were perched on the telegraph wires along the access road. Our first bird of note, however, was a Water Rail seen from the seawall, looking back to the East Flood. Plenty of Bearded Tits were pinging away in the reedbed and, eventually, we managed to see about 10 of them flying over the reed tops and diving into cover. Digiscoping them proved almost impossible (as can be seen below)!
Juvenile male BEARDED TIT (Graham)
Juvenile male BEARDED TIT (Paul)
Out on the East Flood there were a lot, and I mean a LOT, of Black-tailed Godwits. Paul estimated about 600 birds, but I have read on one website that the number was estimated to be in excess of 2000 birds. About 10 Ruff, 60+ Golden Plovers, 40 Dunlin, 150 Redshanks, up to 4 Greenshanks, 12 Avocets, a Common Snipe, a Knot, a Turnstone and numerous Lapwings were on the East Flood, with an Oystercatcher and 3 Ringed Plovers along The Swale.
The East Flood (Graham)
Mainly BLACK-TAILED GODWITS (Graham)
GOLDEN PLOVER (Graham)
Some of the waders on the East Flood (Graham)
A Peregrine was devouring prey on the pylon by the creek and, later, a Hobby caused panic over the East Flood as it dived and swooped at waders and gulls that were roosting and sent most of the birds present into the air. A female Marsh Harrier was over the West Flood and at least 6 Little Egrets were in the area.
LITTLE EGRETS (Graham)
Two Wheatears were in the paddocks near the cottages and by the gate to the West Hide, near to the road there were two Lesser Whitethroats, one of which, uncharacteristically, perched out in the open but seemed to have the ability to turn its head away every time the camera’s shutter clicked. Paul got one good shot though. It proved a little easier to video. A few Yellow Wagtails were present and plenty of Sedge and Reed Warblers.
LESSER WHITETHROAT (Paul)
(VIDEO) LESSER WHITETHROAT (Paul)
Juvenile YELLOW WAGTAIL (Graham)
Male YELLOW WAGTAIL (Paul)
SEDGE WARBLER (Graham)
SEDGE WARBLER (Paul)
(VIDEO) SEDGE WARBLER (Paul)
REED WARBLER (Graham)
We stayed until after high tide and, on the way home, two Common Buzzards were over A249 near Stockbury.
Paul & Graham