5th October 2013 - Kent (Newlands Farm and Oare Marshes)

When you get into the latter part of the year, it's always trips to get a specific bird rather than a general walk as we're trying to add to our year list!  On this occasion we had actually intended just to go for a general bird walk as we were planning on teaching our lovely friend Naomi some waders, but the Great Grey Shrike down at Ramsgate happened to pop up on the alerts so we actually headed down there instead!  The white house described was easy to find but a quick scan of the telegraph wires didn't bring up any sign of the Shrike.  An hour of searching later, the number of birders had increased but there was still no Shrike.  I had however made friends with a rodent that for some reason was up in a bush at eye level with me.  We had the moment of staring at each other in shock before he dropped to the floor and scuttled off alongside the path.  I think it may have been some sort of vole but having never seen one before, I can't confirm that!

Jay

Red Admiral

Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike
Anyhow, we decided that as the Spotted Crake had been reported again at Oare, to wander over there.  We stopped briefly before leaving the field to show Naomi a lovely nearby Jay.  It then flew up the field towards the other birders and started having a fight with another Jay - promptly flushing the Great Grey Shrike out of a bush!  It flew around a little then alighted on a tree to allow us all to get a great view.  Excellent!

Ruff

Lovely fly - anyone know what it is?

Meadow Pipit

It was then on to Oare, but of course the Spotted Crake was nowhere to be seen.  We've heard since that it has injured a foot and is hiding a lot more, I hope it gets better!  Oare had at least 10 times the number of Golden Plover as the previous week but only 1 Avocet left!  It's amazing how much can change in a week.  As we drew close to the car we heard pinging extremely close by and watched in awe for at least ten minutes as a group of around 5 Bearded Tit showed really well in the reeds!

Very camouflaged...


Trip list: 36
Year list: 191
Lifers of year list: 28

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