Trip reports

Midweek outing to Oare Marshes, 19th August 2014

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

15 people gathered on a sunny but cool and breezy day for our regular outing to the Kent Wildlife Trust reserve at Oare Marshes.
It promised well as, on the road down from Oare village, a weasel ran across right in front of us carrying something in its mouth.
Even as we crossed the Reserve towards the car park we saw a peregrine that had put up the flocks of waders and was circling around.
Then, arriving at the car park, we immediately saw a female marsh harrier flapping slowly across from west to east.
The tide was out but we could still see a few waders from the seawall including dunlin, ringed plover, curlew, avocet and redshank, as well as little egrets, yellow wagtails and a late swift.
On the East Flood the main wader flock was of black-tailed godwits together with lapwings, a few golden plover and the occasional ruff/reeve.
Again the peregrine came by to upset everyone (except us!).
Presumably because the tide was out there were no gulls or terns on the Flood, apart from one or two black-headed gulls, so we missed out on the Bonaparte's gull which is usually seen with flocks of other gulls.
Back on the road we studied the waders more carefully now with the light behind us and were able to pick out one curlew sandpiper and one knot but we never got a sighting of the reported wood sandpiper.
Over on the rough ground on the west side of the road we topped up our count of smaller birds - common whitethroat, dunnock, goldfinch, robin, blackbird etc. Perhaps the highlight was a female wheatear clearly seen from the hide.
By 4:30 or so tiredness was setting in and we set off home having seen or heard a total of 60 bird species, the above-mentioned weasel, seals and several butterflies including wall brown and clouded yellow.
Derek Lea