Trip reports

Weekend walk at Oare Marshes - Saturday 21 March 2020.

Weekend walk at Oare Marshes - Saturday 21 March 2020.
Well wrapped up viewing the East Flood, Oare Marshes

Sunday, 22 March 2020

As Covid-19 cast a chill over Britain, a few brave souls set out on the walk at Oare Marshes. And the wind was so strong and it was so cold we were pretty sure that the only virus we would get would have blown over from France!
The sunshine was lovely and the light was brilliant, but the wind was cold and fierce. 9 hardly souls assembled at the car park and had to put up with my dodgy briefing to keep us all safe: keep our distance, including the visual aid of 2 metres being the length of an adult Tapir, no sharing of equipment and that I would not be visiting the hides.
We started the walk looking over the Swale from the dock, the tide was in and the wind was blowing, but we saw some brent geese and a cluster of around 8 turnstones close up, as well as redshank and curlew. We then set off inland towards the cottages with our first stop looking over the fields and then over the East Flood.
In the fields on our right we saw a grey heron in a clump of brambles, looking for all the world like a carrier bag in the wind, little egret and coot and some sharp eyes picked out a number of teal down amongst the grass tufts.
On the East Flood we had a good mix of birds with pintail, coot, garganey, black-headed gull, common gull, a couple of Mediterranean gulls, cormorants, and shovelers. Without question, the garganey was the star attraction.
We walked up past the cottages and saw a kestrel and a single chaffinch and then set off round the nature reserve seeing lots of black-tailed godwits, who very obligingly showed us their black tails and white rumps, with a flock of redshank along with more ducks, some shelducks and with some stock doves flying overhead. It was too cold and blowing for many small birds to be out and about and we were very glad to get back round the sea wall to the sunny car park, warm cars and some lunch.
Some of the group decided to call in at Elmley Marshes on the way back. They were rewarded with good sightings of little owl, short-eared owl and male and female marsh harrier, and a very enjoyable extension of the day's birding.