Wednesday, 25 September 2013


Unsurprisingly, it was foggy when I got to Oare this morning but even at 9am it was warm enough for Migrant Hawkers to be on the wing. It remained pretty overcast for most of the morning, making it difficult to get many pictures.

 I did manage a couple of shots of the Spotted Crake though, despite the light. It has been in the small ditch near the east flood hide for a couple of weeks now. This is a life tick for me and i've no doubt it will be a long time before I see another of these small secretive birds. A Sedge Warbler also made a surprise appearance as I watched the Crake.

 In the reedbeds around the east flood were a few groups of very vocal and quite mobile Bearded Tits. I waited for about half an hour in the hope that they would drop in close by but the best I got was the quite long distant shot below. Although that's better than I usually do with these. I also saw a Reed Warbler here, along with Meadow Pipits, Chiffchaffs, and lots of Reed Buntings.

 All the usual wader species were on the flood including hundreds of Black-tailed Godwits. I walked along to Dan's Dock and Uplees copse but very little was added to the list for my troubles. Overhead I watched several very large flocks of ducks heading west, high above the Swale. I think they were probably Wigeons, a great sight to watch whatever they were. The only bird I failed to see was a Wryneck which had appeared in the rough ground between the east flood and the sea wall, you can't win them all.

In the garden, Southern Hawkers have been patrolling the pond in the warm weather, sometimes stopping to deposit some eggs, typically choosing small patches of vegetation instead of the water.

There are also still plenty of Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters around the garden as well as hundreds of Crane flies (Daddy long-legs) which are approaching plague proportions in some of the local fields.

We have had up to four or five Chiffchaffs in the garden at a time this last week or so, presumably passing through on their southerly journey. This one stopped for a bit of a wash and brush up in the pond.


Greenie said...

Phil ,
Very well done on getting the SC , I recognise the vegetation from the time I spent there .
The Wryneck would have made a great double , better luck next time .

Warren Baker said...

Might go and have a look at the SC on Saturday Phil, maybe see the Wryneck too.

Alan Pavey said...

Well done on the Spotted Crake Phil, nice bird. I know what you mean about the Crane Flies there are 1000's of them especially when we are checking the moth traps in the mornings!

Wilma said...

That crake is a lovely bird. And your photo of the Southern Hawker on the moss is a treat.

alan roman said...

Great shots of Crake and Dragon. Must be your new lens!

Mike Attwood said...

Great pics of the southern hawker, Phil.

Lou Mary said...

Fantastic shots of the hawker! Such a vibrant green colour! The crake photos are also lovely.

Ken. said...

Late comment,I am still in the land of the living. I popped to Oare 4 days before you did but no Crake seen during the hour I waited. Didn't post as not there long enough. Nice pics.

Our photos said...

Beautiful photos!
Greetings, RW & SK

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Great macro and pictures. congrats and regards