Oare Marshes

0745—1145 Initially walked west; into eye-watering westerly air, the glaring sun at my back. Cetti`s as usual, was vocal at the car-park; a couple of Wigeon; 11 Tufted Ducks; a pair of Pochard and three Gadwall were in the main dyke. A cock Stonechat was at the copse; Skylarks were prominently singing but a Song Thrush outdid all the vocalists from the upper circle of the arbour. A  scattering of Black-tailed Godwits and Avocets were shoreline,and three Gt Crested Grebes were on the Swale; but after entering TQ , at Luddenham Gut wildfowl were plentiful , with c 240 TealTufted Ducks and Gadwall seduced perhaps by the spinning decoys—a permanent feature. Mediterranean Gulls were reporting to their usual Halls of Residence for Spring term further west, Marsh Harriers were far and near; and c110Avocets joined the melee as a Merlin hurtled through the saltmarsh.  Back at base, the Little Owl was in sniper`s camouflage 200m away , with one eye cocked—-low tide roosting waders were sparse; drake Shovelers were in No 1 dress; Long-tailed Tits were looking for moss and feathers; two Buzzards were high—very high and thermalling; a Green Woodpecker yaffled and a Little Egret foot paddled the reedbed enticing the day`s bouillabaisse to the surface. c 35 seals were hauled up on Horse Sands. Mike R