Went to Oare marshes today with Alan Roman in glorious mid november weather. Not too much seen from the sea hide as the tide was coming in fast but avocet, redshank, black tailed godwit, curlew, dunlin, oystercatcher, great crested grebe and shelduck were just some of the highlights along with a distant seal hauled out on the mud.
The walk from there round to the east flood hide produced two or three brief sightings of bearded tits, their pinging calls obligingly giving just enough time to glimpse them in the sun before they disappeared back into the reedbed. Meadow pipits, reed buntings and kestrel also made the notebook here, alongside the likes of lapwing, mallard, moorhen and teal in the flood margins.
From the east hide we saw among others, golden plover, ringed plover and a single grey plover, three pintail snoozing on one of the small islands, little egret, wigeon, greenshank and turnstone and more snipe than you could shake a stick at, also a couple of buzzards were hanging in the wind over Harty. The star of the show however, was a little stint feeding energetically among the dunlin on the roadside of the flood (well spotted Alan), this was viewable from the road until a chinook helicopter made a low pass later in the day and sent it and every other bird in the area skyward in a mad panic.
From the east hide we made our way over the rough ground to the west hide, checking the hedgerows as we went. This was the quietest area but we did manage to see green woodpeckers, skylark, stonechat and a few other bits and pieces, which added to the rest gave us 49 species in all.
From Oare we headed over to the raptor viewing mound at Capel Fleet for the last hour of decent light, it was breezy here and the low afternoon sun made life difficult but we saw at least half a dozen marsh harriers, four of which were perched on the ground, a kestrel and nineteen corn buntings on the wires, lit up very nicely by that "difficult" sun...................every cloud as they say.