Thursday, 19 September 2013

Spotted Crake at Oare marsh RSPB in Kent

Arriving at Oare this morning I was hoping to get a closer look at Spotted Crake than my previous Kent encounters with this species as I'm usually looking through a scope to see one. The bird that's been at Oare for a week has on occasion shown quite close so I fancied my chances. I walked around to the East hide and walked through the gate at the hide stopping to view the small reedbed between the gate and the hide only to find the Crake just sitting in the reeds a few feet away. It walked away slowly but did give a couple of opportunities to grab a shot or two in poor light.
Spotted Crake
Spotted Crake
The reserve was full of waders with good counts of Black-tailed Godwits, Avocet, Dunlin, Golden Plover, Redshank and Lapwing. I counted 22 Ringed Plover, 3 Curlew Sandpipers, 3 Little Stint, 8 Ruff and 3 Snipe. A Peregrine flew through hunting and put every bird up with most trying hard to get above the falcon to safety. Despite several attempts the bird left without a kill. A couple of Marsh Harriers hunted the fringe and an Eider was on the Swale so plenty to see whilst waiting for the Crake to appear.

Peregrine at Oare marsh

On my return home I was pleased to see that Birdguides had awarded me a "notable" for my Red-backed Shrike photograph from last week.