Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Oare Marshes Revisited !

Oare marshes was one of my favorite birding sites from way back, when I first started bird watching in 1986, it appears to be a lot of other peoples favorite site now, as I found the car park overflowing, birdwatchers appeared to be everywhere, walking around the flood in pairs every fifty yards or so, and the hide full of people giving annoying commentaries on every bird they saw.

No solitude here, but still a good place to see passage migrants, hence its popularity I suppose.

So, as I joined the formation walk around the East flood trying hard to keep equidistant from the couples in front and those behind. I tried to lose myself into the marshland atmosphere and enjoy the wildlife.

I was hoping that I might get a chance to photograph some of the Bearded Tits that seem to be regularly reported, no such luck, although I did see four Bearded tits fly over the reed beds and land well out of range of the camera and disappear into the reeds.

The Black Tailed Godwit flock was pretty impressive, but
without my spotting scope to trawl through the waders and see what else was hidden in the roost, I contented  myself  with the sheer beauty of the masses,  and to be honest these were still too distant to produce a decent photograph.

Further around the flood I approached the East Flood hide, carefully opening the door to the hide making sure that I did not disturb the general ambience of the hide, and took my place on the bench, to admire the views,  
I was treated to a running commentary on every single bird that made an appearance, now I know this can be very useful when something unusual turns up, but really annoying when uttered in a loudish voice on every single bird that appears. 

And then to top it all, as they leave the hide they slam the door.
totally oblivious to the disturbance they have caused. Rant over.

Old age brings intolerance I feel.

Fortunately most bird watchers are very considerate, just a bad day.

Golden plover roosting on one of the islands in the east flood.

Lapwing and  Ruff


Black Tail Godwit
Juvenile Little Stint

View down the causeway to the Swale, where a few deep breaths of fresh salty air restored my sanity.

A walk out to the West flood did not produce any avian sightings, but as I approached the West hide a small skipper like butterfly caught my eye, unusually trying to settle on a timber fence rail, my first thought was that this was a late Large skipper, but on closer inspection two white eyespots could be seen on the wings, and it appeared more moth like.
It seemed determined to stay on the fence rail, the problem was a spider was determined to make a meal of it, each time the spider approached, it would fly off, but kept coming back.
Eventually the spider lunged and made contact, the moth and spider both fell from the fence rail, a few seconds later the moth flew up and settled on the fence rail again.

I took a couple of photographs hoping to identify the moth later after some research.

This turned out to be a Vapourer moth, sometimes known as a Rusty Tussocks which sometimes flies in the daytime, quite common and usually seen between July and October.

What I didn't realise at the time, was that the creature in the bottom right hand corner is actually a wingless female Vapourer moth, these give off pheromones which the males find irresistible, hence the males persistence in returning to the fence rail.

Once the female has mated, she lays  her eggs on the silken cocoon and dies. The eggs hatch the following spring.

Never too old to learn something new though.

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