Following last weeks visit to Oare Marshes to see the Wilsons Pharalope and Long Billed Dowitcher thought I would have a return visit to practice my wader identification skills on the vast number of waders there at the moment, this time armed with my trusty old spotting scope, camera and binoculars I was prepared for all eventualities, except for the excessive weight of my ever-growing amount of optical equipment.
Weather was not good this time either, very grey, with a cold northerly wind blowing.
After a quick walk along the sea wall to view the Swale and Faversham Creek in the hope of seeing the Black necked Grebe I found the tide well out, and a slow trickle of water in Faversham Creek which meant no sign of the Grebe.
I could see a few seals hauled up on Horse sands out in the Swale, but far to distant.
My first few waders came into view in the mouth of the creek, Avocet, Dunlin, and Redshank.
By far the best position for viewing the waders was the road which runs between the two floods, fortunately, roadside viewing areas are available.
Wader number four came into view here the Black Tailed Godwit, most were in the wader roost at the far end of the flood, but theirs always a few feeding in the shallow waters of the flood.
|Black Tailed Godwits|
To far for a photograph but five waders now identified.
A few of the Godwits were colour ringed, but I couldn't get a clear view of the complete series of coloured rings.
|Colour ringed Godwits at Oare|
|Long Billed Dowitcher feeding with Black Tailed Godwits|
|Ruff and Dunlin|
Another wader in huge numbers on the flood were the Golden Plovers, not hard to identify and bringing the wader species count to ten. surprisingly no Grey Plovers seen on the flood.
Dunlin were quite numerous out on the flood although not so obvious, I always use the Dunlin as my 'base line' for small wader identification, ( bigger than a dunlin, smaller than a Dunlin etc )
My next wader sighting was definately smaller than a Dunlin and looked to me like juvenile Little Stints, feeding along the edge of the reed fringed flood, and only giving the briefest of views. shorter bill, brighter plumage, clean white underparts, I saw at least three or four of these on my visit, I believe up to ten have been seen. wader number eleven.
|Juvenile Little Stint|
Not a hundred percent on this next observation, just a single bird which looks to me like a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, there have been several reported of late. wader number 12
|Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper|
A water Rail was also picked out skulking along the reeds with several Little Egrets, Grey Heron .
A good site to visit especially in the autumn for waders, bringing along the spotting scope certainly made a difference.