85 species recorded so far this year
Sightings include those seen from Oare Marshes, including Sheppey and the Swale, and on adjacent areas to the reserve, west to Uplees copse and in the trees and scrub opposite the cottages.
2018 Species List
170 species were recorded in the area in 2017.
For a list of all the species ever recorded in the area see the Oare Marshes Species List and the Oare Marshes Check List
Common Whitethroat seen at Oare Marshes singing well, this afternoon.
The weather was very humid and stuffy, a light breeze came from the Swale across the floods. There were plenty of thermals around. The estuary itself on the Oare side was surprisingly bare apart from a few Black-Headed Gulls wading in the shallows. The West Flood had several groups of Mallard and also a group of Greylag Geese which all stayed put for the duration I was out. Most birds were on the islands and surroundings of the East Flood. A family of Mute Swans with seven cygnets and both parents patrolled the waters edge with several Little Egrets dotted around the place. There was a group of Teal over the far side and a good scattering of Coot. Several Grey Herons came up regularly over the reserve.
A mixed group of Gadwall and Tufted Duck disputed in the water. Most of the islands were filled with a mixture of Bar-Tailed and Black-Tailed Godwits, adults in their summer plumage along with some paler juveniles; there must have been well over two hundred individuals over the two species. There was a single Shelduck and a couple of Avocets within the Godwits. Some Redshank were at the island edge and were joined by a single Oystercatcher. Black-Headed, Common and Lesser Black-Backed Gulls were flying overhead constantly along with the usual Sparrows popping up here and there.
We spotted and book identified a male Reed Bunting as well as a Grasshopper Warbler in the rushes, a new species for the 2018 list. A Cormorant joined the island birds. We witnessed a Spotted Flycatcher, another new 2018 list bird, catch an insect mid-air close to us.
As we returned to the car, we were treated to a Female Marsh Harrier rising from the West Flood and flying towards the Isle of Sheppey, we saw this individual on two occasions and on the second she passed right in front of the West Flood hide. Another Marsh Harrier was spotted in the distance through the scope but it’s sex was unidentifiable.
May 17th, 18th
I spent an enjoyable couple of hours yesterday and today at Oare Marshes, my first birding trips since last November in Costa Rica. Both days were sunny and warm but with quite a sharp wind on the sea wall. Both days were also fairly quiet birding but, I can add a few to the year list. On both days a pair of Hobbies were hunting over the West Flood and occasionally resting on the concrete buildings. A couple of Common Terns were preening on the posts by the slipway. Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers were singing away in the reeds by the East Flood with occasional views particularly good of the Sedge Warblers. A Marsh Harrier put up the 50 or so Black Tailed Godwits plus sundry other birds on the East Flood. Finally both days produced 2 or 3 Swallows.
Others reported Swift, House Martin and Turtle Dove but I did not see these myself.
My partner and I spent 4 hours at Oare Marshes on Saturday 25th March, from 7.45 – 12.00. We read the year list and realised that if it is up to date, we can add a couple of species – a single Corn Bunting, near Uplees Copse and two Jackdaws flew over, heading west. We had a Chiffchaff singing in the bushes opposite the cottages and a pair of Marsh Harriers were quartering the reeds around the main part of the reserve when we arrived.
We had four singing Cetti’s – two along the ditches to Uplees Copse, one by the car park (showing well in brambles) and one near the sluice gate in the corner of the East Flood.
A slow wander around the circuit of the east scrape today. A pleasantly ‘warm’ day, overcast, light SE breeze, HW approx 3pm.
The east scrape was still partially frozen today, however there were a few species to be seen including: Mallard, Teal, Pintail, Shoveller, Shelduck, Greylag, Brent, Coote, Moorhen, Mute Swan, GWoodpecker, Lapwing, Blackwits, Oystercatchers, Dunlin, Curlew, Redshank, GPlover, GreyHeron, Cormorant, Lgrebe, GCGrebe, Linnet,
ReedBunting, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Starlings, Carrioncrow, Magpie.
07:35-09:35 Cloudy and calm. Two Chiffchaffs were calling from the trees by the flooded car park. A flock of 17 Greylag Geese came in from the west and settled on the east flood where Tufted Duck numbers had risen to 44. A female Gadwall was with Mallard on the west scrape. A Redwing was feeding with Blackbirds in the paddock and a Fieldfare was seen in the trees behinnd the cottages. Another brief visit in the gloom of the afternoon produced the Long-billed Dowitcher feeding energetically in the creek, a Greenshank which dropped onto the east flood and a fine male Sparrowhawk on the ground by the edge of the east flood.
Murray Wright, Richard Roberts and Philip Goacher spent the whole of New Year’s Day on site and, despite rain for much of the day, amassed a total of 73 species to which Rob Stokes was able to add Knot. The adult Long-billed Dowitcher was seen in the creek and in the SE corner of the east flood. Otherwise it was much as expected. There were six Ruff and two Lesser Redpolls, but perhaps the surprise of the day was a pair of Bullfinches; a species not seen here last year!