Trip reports

Oare Marshes - Free Walk with Nature (Leader Sue Carter)

Oare Marshes - Free Walk with Nature (Leader Sue Carter)
Ruff [Mike Richards]

Sunday, 12 August 2018

It was good to welcome old friends and new among the thirteen members who assembled at this popular reserve on an altogether cooler and more welcoming day than of late.

After checking the mud by the slipway for the Bonaparte's gull we found plenty of the black-headed variety instead, plus whimbrel, curlew, black-tailed godwit and also a little grebe just offshore.

We then spent a while examining a crab apple bush on the sea wall where Steve had seen some eyed hawk moth caterpillars and we found a total of nine, almost ready to pupate three to five inches below ground.

Overhead we noted a few swifts, swallows and sand martins passing through and disturbed a sparrowhawk which flew quickly away. We stood overlooking the East Flood where we saw avocet, black-tailed godwit, redshank, lapwing, golden plover, teal, grey heron, little egret, common tern, dunlin and ruff.

Suddenly, someone asked "what is that bird over there?" We spun round to find a big female peregrine dismantling her prey on the far bank of Faversham Creek She kept a wary eye on us until, having taken her fill, she flew off towards one of the pylons, as her smaller mate was then permitted to fly in and eat his share!

After crossing the weir, we picked up a family of four kestrels perched on some hay bales and a distant buzzard.

We then all assembled at the viewing bay by the road to gain a different perspective of the waders on the East Flood and added snipe, common gull and curlew sandpiper to our growing list, plus stock dove and a green woodpecker on a telegraph pole behind us.

Small passerines were few and far between, with a brief sighting of a single bearded tit, wren, goldfinch, linnet and blue tit and several pied wagtails. Our final bird, as our group disbanded, was a single yellow wagtail in the grass a few feet from us. Warren was particularly pleased as it was his 200th bird for the year and the group's 51st of the day!

Sue Carter