Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Tuesday 20th. September 2011

This morning , I ran Carol down to a friend's at Ashford , and after the visit , offered Carol a detour off the motorway on the way back , which she accepted . Half an hour later , we were pulling into the car park at Oare Marshes , a Kent Wildlife Trust reserve near Faversham . Quite cloudy conditions with occasional sunny spells with a strong breeze were the order of the day . I happened to look in the back of the car , and found my camera bag and binoculars , so whilst Carol got stuck into her book , which just happened to be in the car as well , I set off to see what was about .
From the small number of cars around , it was obvious that the Long-billed Dowitcher wasn't around , but given that it was still some time till high tide , there were quite a few waders on the
flood .The majority turned out to be Black-tailed Godwits , some still showing their summer plumage like the one in front , and many sporting their drab , by comparison winter plumage . Some were
feeding like the two above , but the majority formed a large flock , sheltering on the leeward side of one of the islands on the flood . Large numbers of Lapwing and a few Redshank were also seen ,
along witha few Ruff , the one pictured I believe is a juvenile . Just a few Avocets , busily feeding all
 the time , but probably many more were out on the Swale , frantically feeding , before the rising tide stopped the feast . At least 10 Little Egrets , a couple of Grey Heron , a Cetti's Warbler calling from the bushes between the car park and the sea wall , a distant view of a Marsh Harrier and a couple of Curlew flying along the water line near the Swale hide all added interest .Near the East Hide , it was
good to see , and hear , a good sized flock of House Sparrows , some of which pictured here . By far the largest numbers in the air , were several large flocks of Starlings , nosily swirling around before all landing together for a short while before all taking off again together . It was in one of those brief
sessions on the ground , that I spotted this unusual light brown , almost beige coloured individual .
Several Cormorants were roosting on the islands , and the odd one gave a fly past over the road . also over head was a constant stream of Swallows and House Martins , all battling against that strong breeze . Coot , Moorhen , Pied Wagtail and Little Grebe were seen and probably several other species went undetected ,due to the noise of the breeze , especially near the reedbeds in areas out in the open , and no sign of a Yellow Wagtail or Wheatear , which I hoped might have turned up . Very
little colour to be found apart from Haws and Rosehips , but the odd stand of Golden Samphire / Inula crithmoides did it's best to cheer things up , but eventually , heavy grey clouds rolled in , and it was time to head back home .


Ken. said...

Hi Greenie.
That is a photo of a juvenile Ruff with tagged legs. Most of the Ruffs around at the moment are juveniles. I like the picture of the Avocet, and as for the Little Egret's on the mudflats, as the year moves on and through the winter there can be 30 plus feeding along the shore line.
Checking back through my records I found that last January while out with my friend ian we counted 34.
It was a shame the Dowitcher didn't show for you.

Mike H said...

Hi Greenie,

Great shots. I have a feeling that it may have been you at Oare today. I think it was you that I spoke to just before you left in your car.If it was sorry I didn't recognise you yet again.



Wilma said...

Never seen a blond starling before.

Alan Pavey said...

Nice post Greenie, the second one I've read about Oare this week, inspiring me to go and have a look :-)

Warren Baker said...

Strange looking starling indeed Greenie!

Greenie said...

Mike H ,
Yes , it was me if you had lunched in Faversham .
Perhaps on our third meeting , the penny will drop for one of us .
Good to meet you again .

Greenie said...

Ken ,
Thanks for the juv. Ruff confirmation .

Marianne said...

Glad you had a good time at Oare, Greenie. It is a wonderful place for a bit of wader-watching. Very interesting aberrant Starling.