Trip reports

Oare Marshes KWT Reserve (Leader Sue Carter)

Oare Marshes KWT Reserve (Leader Sue Carter)
Turnstone (Richard Hanman)

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Undaunted by the dismal weather forecast twelve "regulars" met up with and welcomed newcomers Hugh and Ellie in the reserve car park at 8.30 am.

Keeping an eye on the gathering storm clouds we decided to do the circuit in an anti-clockwise fashion. On the east flood we saw plenty of wildfowl despite the constant reports from the shooters' shotguns! We remarked how smart and dapper the shovelers and pintails looked. Mallard and teal were also seen along with three common gulls, black-tailed godwits and lapwings. Warren spotted a small flock of greenfinches settle on a nearby bush. It's good to see their numbers seem to be recovering at last.

Steve saw a corvid on top of one of the pylons and as we watched a peregrine flew in from the left, clearly unhappy, and tried to dislodge the bird. A second corvid was on another pylon and we realised they were ravens. The pair were subsequently seen and heard "cronking" overhead as the peregrine dive-bombed them and succeeded in driving them from its territory.

Up by the cottages we caught up with the usual house sparrows, chaffinches and goldfinches and on the path past the hide we saw a dunnock, robin, blackbird, wren, long-tailed tit and a pair of song thrushes all interacting by the bench.

Then we stood on the banks of Faversham Creek watching redshanks, curlews, dunlins, avocets and shelducks on the mudflats as the tide rose. Ron saw a kingfisher fly from the weir and most of the group managed a glimpse as it flew bullet like behind us.

Next stop was the sea hide. Not enough room for us all inside so we stood outside scanning the estuary. The seals were hauled out on Horse Sands and we spotted a great black-backed gull loafing there also, along with oystercatchers and more godwits. Marsh harriers quartered the saltings near Harty Ferry.

Walking back to the car park we stopped for some time watching a couple of turnstones and a rock pipit picking insects from the seaweed covered rocks. A buzzard and a kestrel could be seen over Harty Hill and a skein of dark-bellied brent geese flew down channel.

Trevor joined us at the car park and and there was much banter as we adjourned for lunch and a warming cup of coffee! We then walked back to the east flood watching the high tide roost of black-tailed godwits, ruff, grey plovers plus a grey heron. A green woodpecker alighted on THE tree by the west flood and we also spotted a few skylarks into the bargain.

A very pleasant morning spent in convivial company and with a species total of fifty-nine. On the way out of Oare Steve and I came across a rarely-spotted Bob Geldof heading to his local and a single waxwing in the top of a tree near the Norton crossroads.

Sue Carter