Wednesday 24 February 2016

Winters Day Birding on Sheppey plus Brief visit to Oare

Eurasian White Fronted Geese.

The forecast for yesterday 23rd February was sunshine and no rain ,  so i decided a trip to the Isle of Sheppey would be the order of the day , i started off at Swale NR and although i wasn't looking forward to driving down the track (which would not have looked out of place in a war torn country) i was pleasantly surprised to see they have done some repairs on the track which made for a much more pleasant trip.

I started my walk from the car park (which used to be a great site for Twite in the long distant past) and headed off in the hope of seeing the wintering Richard's Pipit which has been seen regularly anywhere between the car park and the hide .

Dark Bellied Brent Geese with Shelduck.

Despite searching i had no luck with the Richards Pipit however i did see loads of Skylarks , Meadow Pipits & Reed Buntings . i continued my walk seeing hundreds of Dark Bellied Brent Geese plus several Marsh Harriers , eventually i bumped into another birder who had said he saw the Richard's Pipit nearer to the hide so after a brief chat we headed off in our separate ways , eventually i saw the Richards Pipit fly up from the bank then land on the path in front of me.

Richard's Pipit with a grub .

I never got a decent photo of this bird however i did have some great views through my scope , i waved some other birders over who hadn't seen it and we all enjoyed some decent views.

There were enormous numbers of birds around , 300+ Eurasian White Fronted Geese & 1 single Barnacle Goose , 1000's of Golden Plover & Lapwing being spooked my the marauding Marsh Harriers , a really great birding spectacle .

Little Egret.

A Little Egret flew close by before i retraced my steps back towards my car and then drove along towards Leysdown looking out for waders and i always check the gull flock on the football pitched and scored with a cracking Med Gull.

Med Gull.

I think Med Gulls are stunning birds to see so was really pleased to see this one , i also saw a single Whimbrel on the football pitch.

Record shot of the Whimbrel.

I decided to head off to Capel Fleet to try and re find the Tundra Bean Geese that had been seen the day before , as i came down the hill past the farm i noticed a large flock of Grey geese near the bend , so i parked up and scanned through the flock with my scope and eventually saw both Tundra Bean Geese , although somewhat distant i did get some ropey record shots.

Two Tundra Bean Geese.

Tundra Bean Goose.

I put the news out and it wasn't long before some more birders turned up and saw them to , other than a couple of Corn Buntings and the usual Marsh Harriers there wasn't much more to see at Capel , although i did see another close Little Egret and two more Med Gulls.

Little Egret.

A really enjoyable days birding on Sheppey , i quickly popped into Oare Marshes on my way home and managed to see the 2 Lesser Redpolls that have been associating with the Goldfinch flock along the path towards the East flood hide.

Lesser Redpoll with Goldfinch flock.

Lesser Redpoll.

Plenty of Pintails on the East flood plus a tight flock of Avocets all huddled up together in the middle of the flood.





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