Today was an overdue trip to Oare Marshes, I try to get there at least once a month but it had been 5 weeks. The weather was still blustery and I think this kept most of the smaller birds quiet; that is all except for the Cetti’s Warbler behind my car in the car park. As always, it was heard but not seen, though I did catch a glimpse of a Reed Warbler it was in competition with. I started off with a walk to Dan’s dock and back. All was relatively quiet, however I was treated to the sight of a Merlin hunting along a stream, shooting past a mere 30 feet away, it then took a dragonfly which it started to eat on the wing. At Dan’s Dock all was quiet with a Linnet being the only sighting. Other sightings from the Car Park to Dan’s Dock consisted of Blackbird, Reed Bunting, Coot, Carrion Crow, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Black Headed Gull, Herring Gull, Heron, Lapwing, Magpie, Mallard, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Shelduck, Yellow Wagtail and Whitethroat.
I then went to see what was on the East Flood, and found an Avocet and Little Egret who were happy to pose for me (today I had the Canon 400D).
|Avocet - Canon 400D + 100-400mm|
|Little Egret - Canon 400D + 100-400mm|
The flood enabled me to add Cormorant, Tufted Duck, Black Tailed Godwit, Greylag Goose (with Goslings), Pochard, Starling and Mute Swan to the list, also a solitary Shoveler whose plumage was a bit rough to say the least. There were also a number of Shelduck chicks on one of the islands.
I then wandered up to the cottages and back enabling me to add, Collared Dove, Swallow, House Sparrow ( it still stuns me how rarely I see these birds now) and Lesser Whitethroat (first of the year for me). Heard but not seen was a Chaffinch.
|House Sparrow - Canon 400D + 100-400mm|
|Emporer Dragonflies (I believe) - Canon 400D + 100-400mm|
Just past the sluice I spotted a Sedge Warbler, but it didn’t hang around long. At the Sea Wall Hide I looked over the Swale to find three Little Terns, sadly the photo was taken at some distance but (it was clearer through the scope) another year first for me.
|Little Tern - Canon 400D + 100-400mm|
It was a nice day at Oare, I did not realise how nice until I felt the sunburn at home!!!