Oare Marshes

0745-1045—–9deg in a strong NE wind with the tide filling. The seawall hide was a degree of respite, with birds being blown in all directions. Very evident that Great Black-backed Gulls were more numerous than of late; waders were seeking the sheltered Sheppey banks and roosting high ground was now limited on the E flood after the recent rains. 2 Great Crested Grebes and a duck Common Scoter were in front of the hide and 3 smart drake Velvet Scoters flew close, westward. Hoped for skuas didn`t materialise, unlike further east of Whitstable. The flocks of Brent Geese were widely dispersed across the Swale, whilst the E flood hosted mainly Teal (circa 400) and Shoveler (80+)
6 Fieldfares and 4 Redwings again disputed hawthorn berries and a Cetti`s Warbler sang close, behind the W flood. Black-tailed Godwit `witterings` carried some distance in the wind, and amongst the close to the road flock, I was pleased to find the Long–billed Dowitcher—albeit with only a brief bill view , less restless than the Godwits and prone to lengthy periods of inactivity. Just off Oare marshes radar, the OGW was sheltered and a 20 min circuit produced a male Sparrowhawk with passerine prey; Kingfisher in the main leat with Grey Wagtail; 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a small party of Long-tailed Tits.
Mike Roser