Thursday, 10 May 2012

A Surprise Gropper

Another visit to Oare yesterday,  I wanted to see the gropper again,  I arrived late morning and spent an hour or so waiting for the bird to perform as it had done last Friday,  however it is was not vocal at all.  The only view I had was brief when it appeared in front of me.  I hastily fired off the camera and managed a few shots. There were two pairs of Whitethroat busy in the brambles and Long Tailed Tits nesting nearby.  Also the Nightingale in the scrub adjacent to the cottages was singing.   It was rather windy so maybe that's why the gropper was quiet.


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Another visit to Oare.

With the sun shinning this morning I decided on another visit to Oare and try for some more shots of the gropper.  Reaching the location at 0730 I was made aware that it had shown an hour earlier but had since gone to ground.   I stayed for an hour or so but there was no show of the gropper.   Lots of people had now arrived and perhaps all the chatting between everyone kept the bird low.   I moved off and walked along the path towards the east flood hide,  here Steve Ashton pointed out six newly arrived Wheatear looking proud stood up on the mole hills.  Walking towards the creek Whitethroat were singing in the trees and a pair of Reed Bunting together with a a few Bearded Tits were in the reeds.   Sedge Warbler were numerous displaying from their song posts allowing a few photos.  Steve pointed out a  Grey Plover in full summer plumage it looked very smart but was to far away for a photo.   Avocets were in full courtship and an Oystercatcher dropped in close by.   Perhaps the most strangest sighting of the day was a huge lorry that was probably on route to Sheppey via its satnav some how found its way between the two floods.   Not as many hirrundines today and on leaving for home at 1130 the gropper still had not shown.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Making the most of a miserable May day.

With yet another overcast day prospects for a trip out with the camera where not looking good, however after the downpour between 9 and 10 it brightened up so out I went.   I decided on a visit to Oare marshes to try and locate the Grasshopper Warbler that has been around for a few days now and showing quite well.   I meet Steve Ashton by the east flood where we had a quick scan to see what was about,  lots of Swallows flying low over the pools with the odd Swift and Martin we watched their aerobatics for a while along with a Little Egret that was happy catching fresh water shrimps by the cattle bridge. We made our way to the entrance to the west flood where the warbler was supposed to be and we were immediately on it.  This was my first connection with a reeling Grasshopper Warbler and I was thrilled with such a good sighting.  It was a bit distant but a few images were taken.  We moved on with the photos in the bag and headed for the west flood hide, not much there , a pair of Avocet, Little Grebes and a few Sedge Warblers.  After a cuppa we headed back past the Gropper that had gone silent, apparently it reels morning and late afternoon.  We amused ourselves watching Whitethroat, Linnets, Goldfinches and on the east flood one Yellow Wagtail.  A Kestrel was hovering over the water,  we watched it fly off with a small catch and disappear over the road. Not to many ducks on view,  several Egrets were now about and in the distance a Nightingale could be heard.  It was a dull overcast day making the photography challenging but all in all very enjoyable.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

A sunny end to a dull day


Being stranded indoors for most of the weekend I was pleased when the sun came out midday Sunday. I decided on a ride to Sandwich to try and see the elusive Short Eared Owls that have been around for a while, I thought that they may take advantage of the dry and hunt.  However on the way I called into the elms and immediately made contact with a stunning male Pied Flycatcher.  This is a cracking bird that I have seen lots of times in Wales but never in Kent.  Whilst here I was made aware that there was in fact two birds although I only saw one,  but great views I had.  I moved on for the Owls but had no joy again, one did show just before I arrived, but must have gone to ground. I returned Tuesday to try my luck again,  no owls  but a Kestrel was obliging for the camera