Sunday, 19 January 2014

Glossy Ibis, Oare Marshes. Kent

Starting the day with an early morning visit to Elmley Marshes where the drive along the entrance track today was unusually quiet.
The grasslands either side of the track were flooded in many places, as would be expected with all the recent rainfall. But most of these pools were completely devoid of birds.
Nearing the car park a Barn Owl is spotted on the grass, it soon takes flight and lands on a fence post nearby. The light is very poor but the camera comes out for a record shot anyway.

After parking the car, we took a walk along a nearby track looking to add Little Owl. But there's no sign of any this morning.
A scan from the toilet block viewing area does produce Buzzard and Marsh harrier and a possible Merlin. On the drive back down the track a Marsh harrier is seen hunting across the surrounding fields and over 200 Curlews have flown in to feed. 

Capel Fleet is the next destination, and the drive along Harty Ferry Road produces plenty of Red-legged Partridges perched on the earth mounds of the dug out ditches.
At the view point the first birds seen are Common Buzzards, and plenty of them. They seem to be perched up in every direction scanned.
Three Marsh Harriers are seen together close by and Brian picks out a Ringtail flying along a  distant tree line.
Another scan of the fence posts bags a female Merlin along with several more Buzzards. A Sparrowhawk is watched in flight and then perched on the ground.

Having heard that two Glossy Ibis were still at Oare Marshes, we decide to head in that direction. Only to hear from another birder that the two birds had flown to Shellness some 40 minutes ago!
We decide to head back up the road and scan the West and East Floods. Good numbers of Dunlin and Lapwing are present along with single figures of Ruff, Golden Plovers and Knot.
I add another year tick when a Stonechat perches up on a nearby bush. A smart male Pintail is found asleep on a small strip of mud, it wakes briefly for a record shot.


Then as luck would have it, Brian picks up the two Glossy Ibis approaching overhead. They fly directly over us before heading away towards the Swale.
A little later they reappear overhead and head in the direction of Faversham.

Glossy Ibis

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