Oare Marshes

Black-tailed Godwits20.03.2017 0730-1030 Full cloud with rain on the air in a near SW gale meant heads were down in the sheltered aspects of the E flood. A Cetti`s was again prominently showing; 12 Gadwall were mid-water, as were 13 Pochard—predominately drakes. A few Pintail lingered and again a single Ruff was with the sheltering Shoveler. A few  Black-tailed Godwits (pictured left) were showing distinct plumage change, with upper scapulars, head and chest now taking on the stunningly bright copper / orange of summer dress. Occasionally the flock would be alert and wary with withdrawn bills ; then it was bills returned to feathered scabbard and nictitating membranes again became a prominent feature. A duck Eider hauled up on the creek mouth`s margin and subsequently lingered in the bay with 2 Great Crested GrebesLinnets are retaining their flocking instincts, with small numbers atop the seawall—a flock of 28 was at South Swale yesterday. Curlews were numerous probing the mud; some Avocets were active and spread around the creek shallows; others were seemingly comatose in tight black and white flocks—–count the legs and divide by two ; except for those birds standing on one leg ! A pair of Ravens, also seen by TR; flew, calling, through the air-space towards Sheppey. A Great Spotted Woodpecker undulated through the rear scrub. Mike R