Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Oare Marshes 27-8-2012

Yesterday I met Stephen at Oare Marshes at 10am, 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
The East flood was quite bounteous in variety and quantity with large flocks of Avocets, Black Tailed Godwits, and Golden Plovers, interspersed with the latter among the islands were Starlings and Lapwings. In the water among the larger flocks were some Dunlin, Redshank and a couple of Ruff. Ducks included Mallards, Coots, Dabchicks a couple of Tufted Duck, some Teal, some Shovelers, some Gadwalls, a few Moorhens and confusing for me was a Wigeon in eclipse. Somone kindly pointed out two Curlew Sandpipers and a Yellow Wagtail to us which was slowly making its way along the Southern Reed line. Dotted around were some Snipe and some immature Shelducks whilst a Pied Wagtail scoured a bit of dry land near to us. The East Flood also contained a family group of Mute Swans, a couple of Cormorants and some immature Pochards. Whilst scouring the flood a warbler dived in and out of the reeds quite close to us, despite it showing for less than half a second on each of two occasions I am certain it was a Reed Warbler.

Snipe feeding - Canon 400D +100-400mm
Next we went to the West Flood (West scrape) hide – on our way there we came across a lot of Common Darters and Stephen proved to be at one with nature when one of them decided to land on his hand and use it as a feeding post to eat a fly there.

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.

1 comment:

  1. I actually saw house Sparrow on my way to the Pub and about half a dozen Collard Dove.