Friday 28 October 2016

Local Birding ........ Swale NNR & Oare

Common Crane at Swale NNR.

On the 25th October i headed to the Swale nnr on the Isle of Sheppy in the hope of seeing the Common Crane which has been around for the last  few days , i braved the rough track down towards the cottages and parked up , there were quite a few Linnets & Reed Buntings in the bushes , these bushes used to hold good numbers of Twite in winters gone by , not sure if thats the case anymore though?

I had a pleasant walk along the sea wall scanning the adjacent fields as i went , no sign of the aforementioned Crane , i decided i would go as far as the hide in my search , so i continued my walk then stopped again to search using my scope and sure enough i located the Common Crane which was quite distant but good to see all the same , i thought i would try and digi scope it so set up my phone and when i checked that i had lined it up i was shocked to see another birder / photographer walking up to the crane and flushing it !!!

Common Crane.

 The Common Crane had a fly around always distant from me , he spooked a load of Dark Bellied Brent Geese in the process , it looked like it was going to settle then a Marsh Harrier came through which in turn unsettled the Crane, eventually it landed again but even more distant and out of sight behind a large mound .

Whilst all this was going on i did see the Great White Egret also in flight on a couple of occasions but yet again that landed out of sight in a a dyke , this was a new species for my Sheppy list .

Great White Egret photo taken at Dungeness.

Sadly i never managed a photo of the Great White Egret however the above photo that i took at Dungeness earlier this year is more or less the same view i got of it on Sheppy.

There were several Grey Herons & Little Egrets on the reserve which was good to see plus good numbers of Marsh Harriers and a couple of Common Buzzards.

Little Egret.

A really enjoyable morning spent here .

27th October

Immature Spoonbill on East Flood.

On the 27th October i called into Oare marshes to see what was around , the imm Spoonbill which has been around for a few days was still present and busy feeding at the back of the East flood , i instantly noticed 2 Little Stints near the pull in and i saw approx 5 birds during my time here.

2 Little Stints.

The Water Rail was still feeding by the bridge and was joined by a 2nd bird which gave very good views.

Water Rail.

Lovely markings on this bird.

Water Rail 

Lots of waders present on the East flood including 500+ Dunlin, 300+ Ringed Plover, 200+ Golden Plover, 300+ Black Tailed Godwits plus singles of  Grey Plover , Turnstone & Avocet.

There was also good numbers of Lapwing & Redshank and at least 10 Ruff , a single Dark Bellied Brent Goose on the flood was a bit of a surprise , at least 10 Pintail and the same amount of Wigeon was good to see.

Bearded Tits & Cetti's Warblers were very vocal on my walk around the East flood with the former showing every so often, i had another look at the Spoonbill which was busy feeding on Marsh Frogs .

Spoonbill eating a Marsh Frog.