Sunday, 10 October 2010

Murky day in north Kent

On Saturday, amid promises of a lovely sunny day, we drove through grey mist to Oare. For once we were there at proper high tide, and the East Flood was laden with roosting waders - unfortunately most were out of reach of our lenses.

As usual, Black-tailed Godwits formed the bulk of the roost, but there were also plenty of Avocets and Redshanks plus a scattering of other stuff including Dunlins and Golden Plovers.

Duckwise, there were a few each of Teal, Shoveler and Gadwall. This Teal was sitting quite close to the viewpoint but lost his nerve and flew off.

A little further out, two cracking female Pintails.

We took a short walk along the sea wall, noting several flocks of Brent Geese, including this massive one.

Some closer Brents, from a smaller flock. Not sure where they were off to but they didn't seem inclined to hang around here.

As winter visitors arrive, so summer visitors depart... a nice Wheatear on the equally nice lichen-spattered roof of the boathouse.

There were numerous Meadow Pipits around, mostly breaking cover close to our feet as we walked along the path. This one was more confident and let me get quite close.

It was getting lateish and no sign of the promised sunshine, so we opted to nip up to Elmley and just drive along the access track and back again - I know, pretty lame. There wasn't much to see but here's some of it.

Starlings. Lots of flocks about, feeding on the grass or, like this lot, bathing in one of the ditches.

Hovering Kestrel, which teased us by switching from one side of the track to the other as we inched along. Finally got a couple of shots out of my side before it disappeared.

... or did it? This could easily be the same bird. Just not close enough (nor bright enough) for a nice shot.

This Lapwing, on the other hand, was certainly close enough (this is the full frame). Many of the Lapwings we saw along the track were missing their long crest feathers and looked rather ridiculous, but this youngster has a full, if shortish, headdress on.

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