Friday, 17 September 2010

Friday 17th.September 2010

I spent the day in cool , windy , quickly changing conditions on either side of the Swale in North Kent . My first stop was Elmley RSPB reserve on the Isle of Sheppey . It was obvious from the start that photography would be difficult , and so it proved all day . A couple of Wheatear on the approach to the reserve , followed by small flocks of Meadow Pipits and very large flocks of Starling . Four Curlew were near the track but flew off before I got to them . A Grey Heron gave a first opportunity , as it lifted from one of the ditches . Still plenty of Swallows hawking insects across the grass , but no sign of Brown Hare today , probably too chilly . Just before the car park , I stopped to chat to the Warden , who informed me that things were very quiet at the moment . Around the car park , good numbers of Yellow and Pied Wagtails , but nothing of interest in the orchard . I made a decision not to go down to the hides , but to chance my luck at Oare Marshes instead , hoping to get lucky with one or two of the Spoonbill that have taken up residence there recently . On the way back down the track , the only sighting of Marsh Harrier today , this one a female . Before reaching the road , I had a look down the track to the shooting range , and managed to get a shot of a small bird atop a Hawthorn . The bill says to me not a Finch more of a Warbler . I would be interested to see what others make of it , before I wrongly identify another species . The consencsus of opinion is that the bird is a Meadow Pipit . Many thanks to those who commented .
Arriving at Oare Marshes , the wind was even stronger than at Elmley , and now there was the low sun to contend with as well . The highlights of the visit were ,
One of many Little Egret on site , but the Spoonbill had flown off half an hour before I arrived , when a light plane flew over , and were not seen again .
On the far side of the East flood , a group were looking at the White Rumped Sandpiper , on the left of this poor shot with a Ruff to the right . The wind was at it's worst here .From the road , I got a shot of two Little Grebe , unusually out of the water .As I reached the slipway , this Thames Sailing barge passed , although under motor power today
Lots of Black Tailed Godwit , either feeding or resting .The small herd of young cows had an attendant flock of Yellow Wagtails following them around .

Down on the mudflats , Ring Plover with another small wader , possibly a Dunlin . As I got back to the road again , two chaps seemed very interested in a couple of bushes , telling me that there was a Common Redstart in one of them . We waited , then the bird duly obliged .
After the Redstart show , a Common Whitethroat put in appearance in the same bush .Not to be outdone , a while later a Lesser Whitethroat appeared to feed on the Blackberries .
While all this was going on , a large flock of Golden Plover descended into the East flood .The appearances kept coming , with the Redstart and the Common Whitethroat .
And the Redstart and the Lesser Whitethroat . All three did appear together but it was so quick , a shot was not possible . Anyway , I would have wanted the three of them with the 8 Spoonbills in the sky behind them . Walking back to the car , there was the incredible sound of what must have been hundreds of Golden Plover settling down . The island between the two areas of water was just one part , completely covered with the Golden Plover .
And finally , I must apologise to Ken/Disabled Birder of Halling , who will get a severe attack of deja vu , after visiting and posting the site yesterday .


Kingsdowner said...

It would be foolish to try to identify the warbler-thing, but it's perhaps more of a pipit - Tree maybe?
Looks like a good day was had!

Phil said...

I'll let those more skilled than me advise on the UFO Greenie.
Some great shots today and I think that's the first time i've seen Little Grebes out of the water.
Bad luck with the Spoonbills. Nearly went looking for them myself today.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
Well done with the Redstart, and Whitethroats, they just didn't want to play ball yesterday. Nice photo's too.
Seeing your Dabchick out of the water reminded me that I forgot to put one of my photo's on my blog yesterday, so I have just done it.
As for your UFO bird, I am not sure, but I wouldn't rule out a Meadow Pipit, going by the markings.
Have a good weekend.

Dean said...

Great photos Greenie.
I`m another one going for Meadow Pipit.

Warren Baker said...

Great Redstart photo greenie :-)

I like the Yellow Wagtail too, cant get near the ones on my patch at the moment.

As for the unidentified bird, it's a Meadow Pipit. I can just see it's long hind claw the photo.

ShySongbird said...

Another good day out there, Greenie with plenty of interest. Very nice photo of the Redstart and I enjoyed seeing the Black Tailed Godwits, another wader I have yet to see.