Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Oare Marshes

The North Kent Marshes are providing me with a real escape from the doldrums of these ongoing health problems.  Couped up at home, I am taking any opportunity to head out before cabin fever really takes hold and I end up chewing on the carpet and scraping my fingers down the wall.  I have always loved the Oare Marshes, the East Flood always impressively stockpiled with Waders.  A little further on from Cliffe, I thought I would give it a go - and an easy ride it was.  Arriving in just over an hour, the number of Waders out on the scrape was astonishing and I just couldn't wait to jump out of the car.

I have no idea how many Black-Tailed Godwit there were out there, but if I say 500, I'm sure I have included all of them and maybe with a few more to spare.  They were congregated in two distinct groups of which the majority were in stunning summer-wear.

Avocet (practicing for Beijing) 

Plenty of Avocet too, perhaps 150 here, typically energetic and vociferant.  There were other crackers here too.  Three Little Stint, two of which were in prime summer breeding plumage, I don't think I had ever seen these looking so dapper - the combination of it's dimunitive size and the rusty-orange tones - as they scampered along the island margins.  There was also a third that was in a transitional phase and had lost the bright hues.  

 Little Stint

Golden Plover 

A single Golden Plover in full breeding plumage was present for a short while and engaged in flight feather preservation before heading off west.  There were also three adult Ruff on the scrape, and around 150 Dunlin.

Wader ensemble feat. Curlew Sandpiper and Dunlin 

Scanning through the Godwit, I picked up a couple of adult Curlew Sandpiper, still in brick-red summer plumage - such lovely birds.  From the same vantage point, Lapwing were present, and at least two Bearded Tit flew along the tops of the reeds in the strong warm breeze.  A Yellow Wagtail and a Meadow Pipit flew over.


Heading down to the shore, the tide was low and there was plenty of exposed mud.  A few Dunlin and Redshank were pulling out snacks from the claggy mud.  There were three Whimbrel here and also around a dozen Curlew, curiously a bird I hadn't seen for a while.  Heading east along the path, a Green Sandpiper tucked itself into one of the shallow pools away from the main congregation of waders.  It maybe felt like I did, just glad to be out and about, away from the carnage, and enjoying a bit of peace on earth.

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