I spent a couple of hours at Oare marsh reserve this afternoon, and the trip was well worth it,. Shortly after settling in the East Scrape Hide a guy taking pictures showed me a couple of pictures of a bird that he had just seen, but he wasn't sure. He told me that this bird was still sitting on a mound not far from the hide. I had a look and to my surprise it was a WHINCHAT. I have seen the odd early arrival before but never as early as this. There was 2 other birds that arrived on the grassy area out in front, and was a maleSTONECHAT, and a Green Woodpecker. When I left home the temperature was 1c but it didn't take long to rise to 6.5c and sunny. There wasn't much in the way of waders because the water level is quite high, but a couple of species did turn up, Black Tailed Godwit,Ruff, and Lapwing, all of the other birds was mainly wildfowl.
There was some Brent Geese flying west with a few Cormorants bringing up the rear. Raptorwise, there was plenty of Marsh Harriers out and about on the other side of the swale, plus 3 Common Buzzards who were hanging around together, only occasionally drifting apart.
I stayed until about 3.30pm in the hope of seeing a bird that normally makes a appearance around this time and it did, the BARN OWL, it was lovely watching it quarter the reeds, especially with the sun on it, so I went home happy with what I did seen in the time I was there.
The complete list of birds seen was as follows: G/B/B/Gull, Herring Gull, B/H/ Gull, Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Coot, Moorhen, Grey Heron, Brent Geese, Dabchick, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Pintail, Shelduck, Shoveller, Whinchat, Stonechat, Green Woodpecker, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Ruff, Lapwing, Black Tailed Godwit. C/Crow, Magpie, W/Pigeon.
My "Bird of the Day" is the **WHINCHAT.**