Yesterday I met Stephen at Oare Marshes at , the weather was overcast (hence poor photos) with a gentle breeze gathering strength through the day. The tide was fully up and there were only a few Black Headed Gulls and a Great Black Backed Gull from the ramp. However a quick look from the sea wall into the “New West Scrape” revealed a Greenshank, a Black Tailed Godwit a Heron half hidden in the Reeds and seven Little Egrets with some other waders, when we got down to the viewing spot those other waders turned out to be a Wood Sandpiper and a couple of Green Sandpipers. Whilst watching them a Meadow Pipit landed in the nearby grass.
|Ruff feeding - Canon 400D + 100-400mm|
|Snipe feeding - Canon 400D +100-400mm|
|Common Darter eating a fly on Stephen's Hand - Canon 400D +100-400mm|
Outside the hide was a couple of Yellow-Winged Darters. From the hide I searched the reeds and found only a family of Coots and a few Mallards whilst Stephen scoured Sheppey where he picked out a Marsh Harrier, then over the distant block houses to the West he found a Kestrel. Over Mocketts two Buzzards were pointed out to us by another couple in the hide. On the way back to the road we heard but did not see a Yaffle whilst a Feral Pigeon watched us from a distance fence post.
|Yellow-Winged Darter - Canon 400D +100-400mm|
Running short on time we made our way round the East Flood via the Seawall hide, near the gate were a few Greylag Geese, whilst on the creek path we saw a Grey Wagtail. The Creek had large numbers of Redshank in it and a smaller numbers of Godwits. During the days travels we had also seen a Bar Tailed Godwit (I cannot remember where though) and some Wood Pigeons.
|Lapwing - Canon 400D + 100-400mm|
I am cheekily going to add 3 birds to the day list, namely Collared Dove, Swallow and House Sparrow the first 2 being seen by me on the road between Oare village and the reserve whilst the latter was heard on the same stretch on the way home. Stephen saw a Harrier on the way to the reserve which he believed was a Hen Harrier but could not be positive. The day list was 42 on the reserve, or a cheeky 44 with 2 others heard. Butterflies seen were Small Whites, Gatekeepers and Small Heaths.