Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Spoonbill and Mystery wader at Oare Marshes

Adult Bonaparte's Gull.

I spent a really good birding session at Oare today , i bumped into Chidders by the pull in and we scanned over the East flood where he picked out the Bonaparte's Gull on one of the islands , pink legs and moulting black hood were very evident.

Pink legs and heavily moulted head.

This is really a smart looking gull , it had a little swim around but returned to roost on the island , checking through the waders we saw 2 adult Curlew Sandpiper quite close to the road .

Adult Curlew Sandpiper.

These are really cracking waders and by the end of the session i totalled 4 birds.

Golden Plover with Curlew Sandpiper.

 Whilst i was looking at the Curlew Sandpipers Chiddy called me to say he has got a strange wader , i finally managed to get on it but the views were not great at first , eventually after a process of elimination we settled on a partially summer plumage Sanderling , i have to say i have not seen many in this plumage and it had us scratching our heads for awhile. Here are some digi scope pics:

Strange wader right of the Dunlin .

Face on , note crown stripes.

Side view of summer plumage Sanderling.

I think this is one of the reasons i love birding so much , the constant challenges it throws at you even among the commoner species , although talking to Murray he informed me they are quite scarce at Oare with only one seen on the flood last year.

There were several Dunlin , Redshank and a single Knot among the large number of Black Tailed Gowits , Redshanks and Avocets.


Chidders had to head off and i decided to walk around to the other side of the East flood to check out the waders in the far corner , there were plenty of Gatekeepers along the track behind the East flood hide , i eventually reached the far corner of the flood and was straight onto a Spotted Redshank which was keeping company with some Ruff.

Winter plumage Spotted Redshank .

As i was looking at the Spotted Redshank i could hear some Bearded Tits " Pinging " so i was hoping to get lucky and get some pics as this is a species that have had trouble with in the past and as i was waiting patiently for them to appear i caught sight of a Spoonbill flying in from the South and sure enough it landed on the East flood in front of me .


Just look at that bill.

Having a preen.

I quickly made a couple of  phone calls to get the news out and then proceeded to get some pics , it was quite actively preening at first and then did what most Spoonbill's do , went to sleep , i watched this bird for quite some time and also saw a Clouded Yellow fly past which is always great to see , i walked back to my car passing Murray on the way who had happily connected with both the Spoonbill and Sanderling.