Monday, 23 July 2018

Stilt Action at Oare !

Black-Winged Stilts seem to be becoming a regular occurrence here in the south of the country, Vange Marsh in Essex, Cliffe Pools North Kent last year, and now Oare Marshes where a family group of four Black-Winged Stilts, two adults & two juveniles have been on show since early June.
although checking the latest bird reports there does not seem to be any further reports after 19th July, so it looks like my late visit on the 17th may just have been in time.

Oare Marshes is quite a compact site, small car park behind the sea wall, an access road running alongside  the East Flood which seems to be the favoured area for waders, and a pleasant walk which circumnavigates the whole east flood area, with views over Faversham Creek and the Swale estuary.

Stilts are quite a distinctive bird and it wasn't difficult to locate them as they fed up and down the edge of the flood nearest the road.

Just managed to fit the whole family in one frame, most of the time the family were scattered all around the flood, although the two juveniles did stay close together at times.

Juv Black Winged stilt

The local Avocets did not appear overjoyed with there company, especially when they strayed to close to each other, but made for some interesting action photographs.

Plenty of other waders on show around the flood, most numerous were the Black-Tailed Godwits roosting en-masse in the middle of the flood.

Black-Tailed Godwits
Other waders noted around the flood were as follows.

Little-Ringed Plover
Ruff in moult

Plenty of Gulls on the flood, mainly Black Headed Gulls in various stages of moult, a few Mediterranean Gulls in the mix with a bonus of the single  Bonaparte's Gull hidden amongst them.

Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull, Bonaparte's Gull & Black-Headed Gull

Bonaparte's Gull with Black Headed Gulls
Juvenile Black Headed Gull
A walk around the East Flood revealed good numbers of  both male and female Ruddy Darters.
my first Migrant Hawker of the year was seen resting up in a tree.

Ruddy Darter male

Migrant Hawker
Butterfly's represented by Gatekeepers, Red Admiral, Peacock and a single Pale Clouded Yellow, which  was too quick for me to get a photograph. huge numbers of six spot Burnett feeding along the sea wall.


Six-Spot Burnett

A passing Hobby and Marsh Harrier spooked the waders and gulls a few times. during the afternoon

One of my favourite river vessel, Thames Barge on the Swale , I haven't seen this one before named the Reperter, making its way into Faversham Creek.

What a place to spend a few hours or longer on a summers afternoon!

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