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Sunday 3 August 2014

Oare Marshes

August 2nd

From the last post you will note that I had intentions for Dungeness on Saturday morning, twas not to be as the monthly Birders drink took place the night before, you can guess the rest.
Feeling a little rough in the morning I decided against driving at dawn so waited until 11.00am, picked Shaun up on the way and we decided on Oare Marshes for the afternoon.

Having not been there for a while I had forgot how close waders come, we had got lucky and it was a rising tide for mid afternoon, as it turned out our timing was perfect.
As we started to set up 2 Curlew Sandpipers were immediately found close in but unfortunately flushed along with everything else, looking to the heavens produced the reason, a male Marsh Harrier carrying what I presumed to be the leg of a Marsh Frog.

Male Marsh Harrier with what looks like a Marsh Frogs leg

That was to be the last time we saw the Curlew Sandpipers despite a good search over the rest of the afternoon.
Black Tailed Godwits soon started to arrive and scanning through them produced a single Golden Plover, more or less still summered up, a nice sight.

Other waders present were Ruff, Avocet, Redshank, Lapwing, Dunlin and a single Turnstone, all were offering good views as well, we both got a good few photos through the afternoon and although the sun was to our right they didn’t come out too bad.

Totals below

Curlew Sandpiper – 2
Dunlin – 14 adults and juvs
Ruff – 9 including 3 nice males
Turnstone – 1 briefly
Avocet – 41
Black Tailed Godwit – 500 minimum, arriving all afternoon
Golden Plover – 44, a single initially and then 2 flocks totalling 43 dropped in, all in varying stages of summer plumage, stunning looking birds and fine site.

Yellow Wagtails were also present in numbers and we heard there calls for most of the afternoon.


In the latter part of the afternoon we both also had brief views of a distant duck before it disappeared from view, colour and wing bar noticeable so I managed to fire off 3 shots.

I am not saying it is one but it doesn’t look bad for a Ferruginous Duck at range.

The photos are simply not good enough, it could be a very rufous female Tuftie or even a Hybrid, see what you think from the photos.

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