Thursday, 3 August 2017

Feast of waders

Oare Marshes - warm and windy, sw 6 - 0830hrs - Had to go to north Kent today to recce a couple of sites for articles. But first off, together with CP, we indulged ourselves at what must be one of the finest wader viewing sites anywhere in the country. As it was high tide the East Flood was jam packed with birds, mainly Black-tailed Godwits (c700) in every conceivable plumage phases, plus around 300 Redshanks and 200 Avocets. There was also a good supporting cast of Dunlins, again in a wide variety of plumages and sizes, from short-billed arctic/schinzii to long-billed alpine types; several of the smaller ones were being mistaken for Little Stints and a larger one for Curlew Sandpiper. However, there was an adult Little Stint, but best of all, a dusky Spotted Redshank. Also present 50 Lapwings, 20 Golden Plovers, six Ruff, two Little Ringed Plovers, two Snipe, Turnstone and  Whimbrel.
  Away from the waders at least 20 Mediterranean Gulls were amongst the Black-headed and Common Gulls on islands, where we eventually located the `resident` adult Bonaparte`s Gull slumped asleep amongst the gulls. A steady passage of Sand Martins and Swifts moved overhead in the strong wind while also noted Goldfinch, Mipit, Skylark, Pied Wagtail, Dabchick, a Garganey, Shoveler, Teal, five Common terns, several Little Egrets, Kestrel, plus Bearded Tit and Cetti`s Warbler heard.

                                Some of the hundreds of Black-tailed Godwits


                                Adult Bonaparte`s Gull, East Flood

Conyer Creek - In the afternoon we moved west along the coast for a circuit of the old brick works site by the creek. By now many of the waders had dispersed and were on the Swale mud with plenty of Redshanks and Blackwits around the margins of Fowley Island. On a calmer day no doubt more passerines would have been discovered in the scrub around the peninsula, but not today with a howling gale in progress.
   Our final port of call was the old lagoons north of Murston bordering the Swale and a new spot for both of us. Small numbers of Common Terns were still feeding juveniles, plus more Redshanks and Blackwits were noted on the far bank along with a total of 25 Greenshanks.
  In summary an enjoyable days birding, despite the wind, and we both agreed to visit Oare Marshes more often.

                                Conyer Creek

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