Oare Marshes

0800-1030  A southerly breeze and near full cloud and occasional bright sun. The tide dropping as I walked west. Coots and Tufted Ducks on the W dyke with Wigeon leaving Mocketts in big  numbers—2000 plus and perhaps just too late for the sky-fulls of last week. Nice to hear Skylarks acknowledging the sun`s warmth and Stock Doves active around the sheep enclosures. The Great Northern Diver was typically spending long periods immersed close to the Uplees buoy. On one occasion, there was a lengthy onward rush with much splay- winged splashing before snorkelling—-etablissement piscicole pour gavia came to mind ! A well marked ring-tail Hen Harrier quartered the Sheppey foreshore and three Buzzards disputed flight paths—-a further two flew through later—all westward. Marsh Harriers were active around the Mocketts arena,  and a Little Grebe was mid-channel unaware the dykes had thawed! At Uplees copse 6 Fieldfares continue berry stripping the hawthorns, and Goldfinches, Linnets and Greenfinches worked the teasels and saltmarsh jetsam. A male Stonechat was near gawdy against a grey backcloth and two Kestrels gyrated and touched talons—–all of a sudden, a couple of hours anyway, a tad like Spring but  with remission awaited—-well, bulbs are emergent and there`s flora to find !  Mike R