Tuesday, 9 August 2016

A Fantastic Day at Oare-some Marshes

3rd August 2016

It is now early Autumn in birding terms so time for a visit to Oare Marshes. On previous visits most of the birds viewed from the road were congregated on the large island nearest the Swale and therefore fairly distant, at least in terms of photography. However, today most were on or around the spit much closer to the road, about midway north-south. This obviously provided many more opportunities.

The most numerous birds by far were the Black-tailed Godwits of which there were probably 1000+ split into three main groups. many of them still in breeding plumage, but typically the ones that came closer were of the dull brown variety.

An unexpected surprise was the small number of Golden Plover present, most still in their summer plumage. I hadn't expected any to be here so early, but apparently this is quite normal. Just love the way they sparkle in the sunshine. There was also couple of the their somewhat plainer Ringed cousins, but because they were one of the first "rare" waders in my Observers Book that I ever saw, they are still one of my favourites.

Avocets were present in good numbers and are best viewed against deep blue water illuminated by the sun. A couple even indulged in some synchronised feeding. Plenty of action too for some flight shots.

A single Ruff absolutely dwarfed this tiny Dunlin, one of a hundred or so roosting at high tide before flying off on to the Swale as the tide receded.

But one of the stars today was this cracking summer plumage Curlew Sandpiper which was feeding most of the time quite close to the road, but did manage to go missing for periods as it disappeared behind the numerous islands.

Well, so far so good, so now for a walk around the sea wall to see what that turns up.

To be continued.

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