Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

** 22nd April. Stodmarsh and Oare Marsh.**

Yesterday, 22nd April I took a long over due trip to Stodmarsh. I thought I heard that the weather was going to be pretty good, it couldn't have been further from the truth. Once at the car park I thought a fleece would have been adequate, but I ended up needing a lighter coat over the top, and I wasn't the only one there  dressed like this.
 I spent about two and a half hours in the Reed Hide, because as other people came in I asked if they had seen anything else and they said that it was very quiet all around, and I didn't really feel up to doing much walking.There was a couple of photographers in there when I arrived and, as you do, asking "Seen anything"? Back came a answer I didn't want to hear " You have just missed the ringtail Hen Harrier by about 20 minutes, I never did see it. There was about 4 Marsh Harriers putting on a good display. There was some firsts for the year for me while there,  those being: SWIFT, HOUSE MARTIN, GREENSHANK, COMMON TERN, REED WARBLER.
The other species seen was: Mallard, Shoveller, Gadwall, Teal, Coot, Moorhen, G/C/Grebe, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Greylag Geese, G/B/B/Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, C/Crow.
The birds seen on my stroll back was: Magpie, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaff, Wren, Pheasant, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Green Woodpecker (heard).
I was hoping that at least one of the Garganey would still be around but they seemed to have moved on, as did the Green Sandpipers.
Shortly before leaving the hide the weather started to change, it warmed up and blue sky appeared, so not being that far from Stodmarsh to Oare Marsh I thought I would go and see what was about.
Arriving at Oare Marsh late afternoon was very pleasant, meaning there was very few people around. even the sun was shining brightly. I started off looking from the lay by half way down the road. There was plenty of birds about, most of them being Black tailed Godwit, about 3/4 of them in breeding plumage. In with them was Turnstone also in breeding plumage, and Redshank. There was small groups of Avocets feeding in the shallows, a few Oystercatcher here and there, and 3 Common Tern resting, 
From here I moved to the East Hide. I did this for a good reason, to see a bird, well 2 birds that I have been waiting to see, those being GARGANEY. I knew that they had been here for quite a while because I looked for them a few weeks ago without any luck.
When I first saw them they was laid up on the grass area to the right of the hide, then after a while they went for a swim, and with the light on them they looked terrific, That was the best and closest sighting of a male Garganey I have ever had, even the female looked good, she might me dull, but it was nice to see her subtle head markings. Other species seen from the hide was: Herring Gull, B/H/Gull, Little Egret, Greylag, Mallard, Shelduck, Shoveller, Pintail, Gadwall, Teal, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Marsh Harrier, Coot, Moorhen, Pheasant,Pied Wagtail.
There was one thing that annoyed me about this day out, and that was when we was on the M2, and  I said to Pam " I have only left my camera at home". It hurt the most when I think about the close photo's I could have got of the pair of Garganey. 
All together I saw 41 species, As for my "Bird of the Day", no other species came close, it had to be the
*** GARGANEY.***
My day actually started by seeing 2 of the many Common Buzzards soaring over the M2 near the Sheerness exit.


  1. Of course if you had your camera, the birds wouldn't have come so close! Sounds like a great outing Oare Marsh.

  2. Ken ,
    It really was a day of two halves , weather and bird wise .
    Still great to see Garganey , shame about the camera .

  3. Great to see Garganey Ken. As for leaving the camera behind.....you should lose your stripes! :-))
    Nice to see you and Pam at Dungeness last week.

  4. Wilma.
    You hit the nail on the head there about the camera and birds. Oare is a good reserve to have reasonably close to home.

    That's the great thing about birding, the day can go as planned, get better, or go worse. Going as planned all the time would be boring. Which ever way the day goes, the most important thing is being out and about in the countryside, and enjoying it.

    Looks like I am going to have to work hard to get my stripes back. All I could think of was look at the great Garganey pics I could have had. What makes it worse is whenever we are going out I always say that I am taking my camera coz you never know what you might see...oops.
    It was good to see you too Phil. I hope you and your mates managed to add a few more specie to your list before you finaly left for home.

  5. I know how you feel Ken. I've had days like that.