Friday, 16 September 2011

Oare Marshes

First off thank you to Phil for identifying the Migrant Hawker in the last post, I am still a complete novice when it comes to insects. I am also having grave difficulty posting comments on as my ID is never recognised!!! Anyway onto this post.
On Wednesday Alan and I took a quick trip down to Oare Marshes, it was a nice sunny day, sadly we got there just a little too late (11.30am) to watch the tide come in. Overlooking the Estuary there were some 30 Ringed Plovers on the remaining foreshore and a young Knot hiding among the sand ridges, whilst there a Wheatear perched on the gate and fence quite close to us.
Wheatear - Canon 400D + 100-400mm

We walked west along the shore path hoping to pick up a few birds on the remaining shore, however other than a few Black Headed gulls there were just two Godwits. One had a distinctive upcurve to the bill, but I missed them take off so cannot confirm a Bar Tail. On the land side of the path there was a group of about 500 Starlings which were frequently swirling around in a sort of mini moot.
Starlings - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
There was nothing in the Estuary or the creek other than a few Black Headed Gulls, on the flood side of the path there was a Heron in the reeds and the a few Teal on the bank near the Estuary hide. Further along the path, views over the East flood gave sightings of Black Tailed Godwits, a Dabchick, Lapwings, Herring Gulls, Mallards, a couple of Greylag Geese and some Coots.
Teal and Lapwing (from road) - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
We passed the sluice gate walking towards the East Flood hide, a Whitethroat called from the bushes but didn’t show, a Willow Warbler and Robin were also heard from the bushes and both briefly seen. A silent Reed Warbler flew between two sets of Reeds, and several Common Darters and Small Whites flew about us. The path also gave the best views of the hundreds of Black Tailed Godwits on the Eastern flood along with a number of Redshank. From the East Flood hide we picked out a few Golden Plover, there were plenty of Cormorants on show and a large number of Avocets feeding. In the bushes in front of us a small flock of Goldfinches was flitting about, the one on the left of this photo was a juvenile still being fed by an adult.
Goldfinches - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
Back on to the road, I was following a Heron in flight with my binoculars when in the background I saw a Buzzard, it was so high that it was invisible to the naked eye. We went across to the West Flood hide, however there was only one bird there but it was a Greenshank so we watched it for 5 minutes before it went from view. Too many intervening reeds for a decent photo.
Walking back to the Car Park, the East Flood showed more of the same, however we did get closer views of a Little Egret and a Ruff (see below), someone on the road spotted a Water rail, but sadly not us. A lonely House Sparrow flew past as did a solitary Red Admiral.
Little Egret - Canon 400D + 100-400mm

Ruff - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
Not seen at Oare, but on the roads up to the site were a Pheasant, Carrion Crow, Wood Pigeon, Magpie and Collared Dove. Not a long species list (33 + 1 heard), but more than made up for by the volume of birds.

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