Sunday, 21 February 2010

Successful trip to Oare Marshes

Two site ticks and two year ticks were gained in a very successful couple of hours spent at Oare Marshes this afternoon, i have not been out birding for most of the month due to illness and other commitments , my year list had come to almost full stop and of course i have missed getting out and about , so with a couple hours spare i headed off to Oare on the hope of adding Smew to my site list and with abit of luck connecting with the Spotted Redshank that i need for my year list.

On arrival i stopped in the pull in and scanned over the East flood and despite good views of Pintail and various other duck species there was no sign of the Smew and also there were very few waders to be seen either, not a great start , but hey at least i am out !

I parked up the old banger and then headed off towards the hide over looking the East flood adding Snipe , Grey Heron and Kestrel to my days tally , i know exciting stuff , anyhow on reaching the hide i bumped into another birder who had seen the Smew earlier but had lost sight of it, oh joy looks like i will miss out again on this elusive sawbill at this site . 

Still after several scans and adding Little Grebe, Tufted Duck and loads of Teal i still had not seen the Smew , then something caught my eye on one of the islands behind a small mound , i saw the top of a birds head , reddish in colour , what could it be...  and then the " Redhead Smew " stood up giving me great joy and delight in adding this to my sight list .

Waders were coming in to roost , 100 + Redshank , Grey Plover, Ringed Plover and then my first year tick of the afternoon in the shape of a Black-Tailed Godwit , scanning through the Redshank produced my second year tick in the form of a very fine Spotted Redshank , i think these are truly smart waders and never tire at looking at them .

Time was running out and one last scan over towards Sheppy where i could see a large flock of distant geese  which were to far away to id or though if i was a betting man i would have said " Brents " , anyhow whilst checking over these geese my second site tick flew across my vision and landed on a post, wow it was a Barn Owl , i didn't need it for my year list but it was a real surprise to get it just fly in front of my field of view , so really pleased i set of back to the old banger and had time to add a fly over Little Egret to a very good couple of hours birding, roll on next week !!!!

I am still getting used to my camera and these are my latest efforts taken at Grove ferry  , top pic is two Mute Swans about to do some ice breaking, middle pic is a female Tufted Duck and the bottom pic is of  some Teal , can anyone spot the Dunlin  ???