Saturday, 7 October 2017

American duo at Oare Marshes

It's now just two more weeks until I have the freedom of a week wherever the weather dictates - could be Shetland or may even contemplate going way out west if this westerly weather continues. It was certainly an eventful week of yanks the week just gone, but despite headliners of Cedar Waxwing, Cliff Swallow and Scarlet Tanager there hasn't been anything for me to make a sudden move on. And so, with an open morning keeping me in London til midday, Dante and I headed out to Oare Marshes, Kent for a couple of hours late this afternoon.

Oare is always full of waders, and a nice place to spend a bit of time, so it was great to see the target bird - a Wilson's Phalarope - twirling around before I'd even stopped the car. It was a nice first-winter and much more advanced than one I'd seen in Lancs earlier this autumn. Initially it showed well until some plum decided to noisily crash their tripod over the fence just so they could get a yard closer. Inevitably, the bird flew and never came back close again.

1st-winter Wilson's Phalarope Oare Marshes, Kent 7th October 2017
The longstaying adult Long-billed Dowitcher was also on East Flood, and despite the murky conditions, was showing the best I'd ever seen it. Now in its full winter body kit.
adult Long-billed Dowitcher Oare Marshes, Kent 7th October 2017
A couple of Little Stints and Curlew Sandpipers, colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwits and a nice flock of Golden Plovers were also about. A pleasant effort, but with waders and gulls so far this weekend and last, it isn't ideal times for this time of year. Some decent passerine action is needed before the month's out...

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