Tuesday, 8 August 2017

An Early Autumn Visit to Oare Marshes

30th July 2017

OK, it is only the end of July, but in the birding calendar we are entering Autumn with the start of their Autumn migration, and what better place to start than Oare Marshes in Kent. It was late morning when we arrived and the tide was out so started with a walk along the river wall. The Bonaparte's Gull was out on the mud but a little distant so hopfully will get some better shots when it transfers to the East Flood at high tide.

The only other bird of note was this lone Whimbrel which spent most of its time out on the mud but on occasions would come close enough for a couple of shots.

Back on East Flood there were a couple of Common Terns amongst the throng of Black-headed Gulls. Also tucked in amongst the gulls was the Bonaparte's which was swimming purposefully towards a nearby spit before it unexpectedly took to the air and was never seen again.

There were already some rather impresive flocks of waders present including these Redshank and the the rather colourful Black -tailed Godwits. However, the godwits were far more obliging and would sometimes feed quite close.

The comparatively diminutive Dunlin was also prsent in good numbers but a little more difficult to photograph because of the small size..............

...............and then came along their slightly larger cousin the Curlew Sandpiper with its even longer down-curved bill.

The once rare Avocets were also well-represented and were most resplendent in the afternoon sun.

What absolutely elegant birds.

Golden Plover numbers were also starting to build up with the adults still in their stunning summer plumage.

But the slightly unexpected star of the show today was this Garganey which was found feeding quietly amongst the Black-headed Gulls and the Golden Plovers.

What a fantastic end to a fantastic day!!!

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