Sunday, 18 September 2011

Afternoon at Oare

Yesterday was a sort of sunny day, except when it was absolutely lashing it down. You know, one of those days. With a fairly fresh breeze into the bargain. We went to Oare in the late afternoon, after a quick trip up and down the Elmley access track where pretty much all we saw was a Brown Hare pretending to be a cowpat.

There was no space to park by the flood, so we parked at the end and walked back - I was rushing ahead, eager to get to the viewpoints before the sun disappeared behind an impressive bank of thick and lumpy greyish orange cloud.

Approaching the flood, I could see that there were very large gatherings of Golden Plovers, Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits, gathered in three separate clusters. Something upset the Golden Plovers and they all went up (along with a few Dunlins) and did a circuit of the flood before returning to their original spot on the muddy spit.

Most of the Black-tailed Godwits were in a long straggly line off the biggest island, but a few were feeding nearby.

This one had a fair amount of bling on its legs. I also saw another with rings plus a little yellow flag thing.

Two gorgeous Little Stints materialised on the right side of the central spit. They were teeny tiny in my viewfinder despite being quite close. They didn't stay very long, but flew off to the far end of the spit.

As the sun started to vanish, something spooked the Avocets. I never saw what it was. Or maybe the Avocets just decided it was time to go, because most of them didn't come back. En masse, they made a great spectacle.

So, to recap. Lots of Blackwits, Avocets and Golden Plovers. Also plenty of Redshanks and Lapwings. A smattering of Dunlins. A single Ruff. A trio of Ringed Plovers on the nearest island. Very little wildfowl - a few Teals and these two Mute Swans.

The Ringed Plovers decided to leave at this point. The sun seemed to have gone for the day, and we were struggling to get any images at all, but we stuck around a little longer. A few terns drifted over, including a Sandwich Tern that settled on the far end of the nearest island. A volley of exciting whistles heralded a fly-by Kingfisher. A Kestrel hovered over the big island, causing precisely zero anxiety among the resting waders.

After about 20 minutes' wait, the sun did reappear briefly. There wasn't much close at hand for it to illuminate, but I thought this adult and juv Black-headed Gull looked really nice.


Alan Pavey said...

Some nice pics there Marianne, I like Oare, reading this makes me feel like a visit is long overdue!!

Marianne said...

Thanks Alan! I always enjoy Oare. I'm even thinking about trying to get there via public transport some day soon (as Rob has the car in the week) - just 2.5 miles' walk from Faversham station...!