Oare Marshes – Field Trip

The forecast for our first visit today was cold with sunny intervals. It was certainly cold and we did not see the sun but it did get brighter throughout the day. Spotting grey, white and black birds on grey mudflats is difficult at the best of times but we were rewarded with some lovely sightings. From the top of the slipway we could see a single curlew , oyster catcher and redshank followed as some ventured down the slipway to more redshanks then a number of dunlin.

With the aid of a scope avocet’s could be seen but not by the naked eye. Venturing around the reserve turnstones were seen close by foraging in the seaweed and then more dunlins joined the party and a lone grey plover was seen near another curlew. Blackbirds visiting from abroad with their distinctive black beaks could be seen and the avocets could not been seen feeing along one of the channels as the tide made its way in. Goldfinches and reed buntings fed close to the path and passed the first hide larger number of redshanks, teals and shovelers were busily feeding as the tide approached. Looking towards the inland flooded areas a grey and heron and little egret could be seen looking for their next meals.

Once we arrived at the main viewing point on the road approaching the car park what initially looked like a little egret was in fact a spoonbill but some waited for 30 minutes for it to wake from its slumber and reveal its bill but it just hunkered down in the cold. A water rail was heard and we spotted a spotted redshank close to some lapwings and pin tails. This was pointed out by a young boy who could well be the next Chris Packham. A marsh harrier disturbed the birds now coming in from the flooded filed via an exceptionally high tide. Apart from a couple the group decided to get out of the cold and go home to a nice cup of tea.

After lunch us remaining made our way to the old sluice and saw about 50 reed buntings, a stonechat and  a spoonbill flew overhead back to where we had come from and a passer by saw a bittern dive into the reeds together with a green woodpecker seen close by to the wardens hut. Driving out of the reserve we stopped by to see the now two spoonbills and was rewarded with one in full view showing off its fabulous bill. An really enjoyable day was enjoyed by all who have hopefully recovered and are feeling a little warmer