Trip reports

Oare Marshes Car Trip 23rd April 2017.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Oare Marshes 23rd April 2017 (14 attended)

The car park abounded with the explosive calls of a Cetti's warbler. Two could be seen skulking in one of the small trees. Excellent views of sedge warbler atop reeds in full song were also seen from the car park and throughout our walk today with their pertinent eye strip in full view. They put on their song flight as well. Invisible reed warblers were also present today.
Gathering up the group onto the sea wall a cuckoo was heard calling in the distance. From the sea wall at least three common terns were seen flying and dip feeding into the Swale. One common tern then perched on a pole for closer scope views. A small group of turnstone flew in and landed on the rocks below us initially blending in with the rocks but their movements betrayed their presence and were then clearly seen. An oystercatcher and black tailed godwit were feeding on the receding mud while a couple of sand martin and swallow flew over us.
Descending onto the road a skylark could be heard. Three were seen later flying in front of the hide. Several linnets eventually gave good views on the ground and fence posts with their grey heads and red markings. A meadow pipit landed on the grass for good views and a little egret and grey heron flew over. A kestrel hovered harassed by a magpie and then landed on a telegraph post.
The flood area had a good selection of ducks with shoveler, wigeon, teal, gadwall, shelduck and tufted duck all seen. A flock of around 100+ black tailed godwits with plumage varying from white to brown were resting in the water. A little grebe called and was also seen here. The godwit all lifted in unison into a flock to escape the attention of the peregrine which flew above them. The peregrine was watched as it soared and flew away.
On the west side of the road a marsh harrier flew past quite high up. A couple of wheatear then put in an appearance, initially on some fence posts but then near some concrete blocks and lastly on top of the hide. A buzzard then flew over. A brief foray through the gate on the west side gave us the scratchy call of a whitethroat, not seen and a couple of us heard the "chug chug" call of a distance nightingale. A great tit, chaffinch and chiffchaff also called. A pied wagtail called as it flew over.
Back through the gate on the other side of the road we continued on our way to the next hide. A wren called. A couple of male reed bunting called and one gave good views of its black head in a tree. Goldfinches were also heard flying over. A brief stop in the hide gave us three skylarks flying past calling together and butterflies seen were peacock and small white. A group of six redshank were resting near some reeds flanked by a mute swan.
The tide had slowly come in as we made our way along the sea wall and from the reed beds a bearded tit's "pinging" call was heard. Eventually a stunning male with its black moustache, blue body, ginger tail and streaky back gave excellent views as it climbed up and perched on top of the reeds. Returning to our starting point on top of the sea wall at least four whimbrel were seen on the mud, with their shorter down-curved bills and black head markings and a bar tailed godwit with its brown summer plumage was also on the mud here.
A total of fifty nine species were seen with the spring visitors taking the front seats. Calling, performing sedge and reed warbler, a calling cuckoo, fishing common tern, nightingales, swallow and sand martin plus the four birds of prey- peregrine, marsh harrier, buzzard and kestrel all made it a worthwhile mornings birding.

George Kalli