Saturday, 13 August 2016

Oare-some Marshes - Part 2

3rd August 2016

The sea wall turned out to be fairly quiet for birds as the tide was now right in so all the mud was covered. However, the show of Sea Lavender along Oare Creek was amazing and well worth going just for that alone. But all was not lost as just at that point in time an orangey butterfly came flopping along and landed on a sprig of Red Clover by the track. This was my first Painted Lady of the year and probably one of many swarming into Kent just now.

Of course one of the reasons for coming to Oare Marshes was try and get some better photos of the regularly returning Bonaparte's Gull. I have photographed it twice in previous years, once on the mud in Oare Creek and once on the large island at the Swale end of the flood. On both occasion the results could only be described as record shots.

However today was much better as the gull was consorting with most of the other birds on the spit nearer to the road thereby allowing some much closer shots to be taken. Just look at the size comparison with the Black-headed Gull in the fourth photo. Sadly, it was already fairly advanced in shedding its black head, but you can't have everything.

So yes of course seeing and photographing the Bony's was superb, but the unexpected highlight of the day was the appearance of two flocks of Whimbrel, a flock of 8 and a flock of 14. They performed very well and ironically are one of the few birds where it is generally easier to get a flight shot rather than one on the ground. What a brilliant end to a brilliant day.

Thank you Kent Wildlife Trust.

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