Sunday, 6 September 2020

American Golden Plover at Oare Marsh

I had a free afternoon yesterday so made my way down to Oare Marsh in Kent. I'm usually an early bird but Oare is one of the those reserves where the afternoon light is more favourable so I arrived at 1pm and found the East flood full to bursting point with waders. Hundreds of Blackwits and Golden Plover with dozens of Lapwing, Avocet and Redshank. Good numbers of Dunlin, Ruff and Ringed Plover were also present and a few Knot also dropped in. Upto six Curlew Sandpipers and a single juvenile Little Stint plus the odd Snipe completed the impressive list of waders before I set about trying to find the American wader amongst them all. Only seven birders were looking and nobody had seen the target but I have seen AGP before so scanning through I could rule out those that weren't the bird and eventually settled on one bird with enough confidence to put the other guys onto it.

Heavy crop and not easy among 300 Golden Plover

I moved on recording Buzzard, Kestrel and Marsh Harrier but missed an Osprey that flew high down the Swale mid afternoon. At Dans dock I found two Whinchat and a Wheatear along with a few Linnets, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtails and Whitethroats. A couple of Yellow Wagtail flew over.


A very confiding Wheatear

I walked back to the flood area and found that the Golden Plover had moved to Shellness after I'd left but after a while Mike B spotted the flock heading our way and sure enough about a hundred birds dropped out of the cloud and very quickly Mike picked out the yank again and with a little help from Barry W and a young man (think his name was Jamie) I was back on the bird and happy to say it was the bird I'd picked out earlier for the small crowd looking for it. A few other birders were then helped unto the target Lee E among them.

A Short-eared Owl was seen coming across West flood but I didn't pick it up and left before it showed again. Bearded Tits were quite vocal during the visit and showed quite well at distance but Napolean wasn't picked out with only a handful of gulls on the flood and the tide right in he'd obviously found somewhere quieter to roost.

Overall a cracking afternoons birding

Year list now 253

Waders and walkers

Just a stunning little bird.....good luck on your long journey

What's not to like

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