Trip reports

Oare Marsh (Leader Richard Hanman)

Oare Marsh (Leader Richard Hanman)
Black-tailed Godwit by Rich Hanman

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Huge flocks of Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet and Redshank were roosting or feeding in the deeper waters; smaller flocks of Dunlin patrolled the shallow water; while Black-headed Gulls and Lapwings roosted on the grassy islands. Once we'd identified the masses we picked through the flocks identifying other birds such as Curlew Sandpiper, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Spotted Redshank, Ruff, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Coot, Moorhen, Shelduck, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler and Tufted Duck.

Alas we weren't able to locate Little Stint or Bonaparte's Gull so we turned our attentions to the West Flood on the opposite side of the road. Here a small pool afforded terrific views of 3x Greenshank,2 x Green Sandpiper, 2 x Snipe and a Water Rail out in the open. Alas poor Warren missed the Water Rail to cries of "should have gone to specsavers" from those that did! A Peregrine perched on the pylon, a Kestrel hovered over the flood, and Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier flew high overhead.

Overlooking the Swale we picked up Whimbrel, Common Gull, Cormorant, Oystercatcher and Herring Gull. In the reeds we picked out Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler and heard Bearded Tit 'pinging'. Yellow Wagtail and Pied Wagtail were feeding on the path, while Sue & Steve picked out Swallow and Sand Martin flying overhead.

We ventured through the gate to the path on the West Flood and were rewarded with good views of Stonechat, Linnet, and a Turtle Dove perched on a telegraph pole.

Butterflies were few and far between but we did find examples of Small Tortoiseshell, Small Heath, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Small Copper, Red Admiral and Painted Lady.

Aside from the 61 birds and 8 butterflies, with the Herne Bay Airshow just a few miles up the coast we were treated to a flypast by the Red Arrows in formation and a rather-loud Tornado or Typhoon-style jet tearing across Elmley.

Overall, a good day birding with great company and perfect weather.