Sunday, 23 July 2017

Bonaparte's Gull: Oare Marshes, Kent

Another trip this morning to Oare Marshes. Arriving shortly after 6am we parked up along the entrance road and began scanning  East Flood. Looking East directly into the sun made viewing difficult. There was no sign of the Bonaparte's, but a group of nine adult Curlew Sandpiper were found feeding among a small group of Dunlin for a welcome year tick. A sizable flock of Black-tailed Godwits were present with good numbers of Avocets as well as several Ruff and at least three Snipe and a single Spotted Redshank.
It was low tide so we moved on to the causeway and began scanning the foreshore for the Bonaparte's Gull and found it midway between the slipway and the hide.

Along with the Bonaparte's Gull, there were three Whimbrel and several more Black-tailed Godwits also feeding on the mud.

East Flood from the entrance track

With news that the Marsh Sandpiper at Cliffe had relocated to Radar Pool, we made a brief visit on the way home. Unfortunately, the Marsh Sandpiper had been flushed by a Peregrine sometime earlier and didn't show during our visit. We weren't too disappointed as we had already seen the bird the previous week. Large numbers of Greenshank were present as well as two Common Sandpipers.
Leaving Cliffe and heading towards the M2, we came across a massive flock of hirundines, numbering over a thousand birds. Not a bad ending to a very enjoyable mornings birding.

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