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.
** OARE MARSH.**
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
My day actually started by seeing 2 of the many Common Buzzards soaring over the M2 near the Sheerness exit.