Monday, 9 August 2010

What a difference a low tide and a couple of hundred yards makes!

Oare Marsh has been having a few good birds lately and knowing that the flood looks fantastic in the glow of the setting sun I decided to have an evening look there. It wasn't a great time from the point of view of the tides, with low tide at ten past six this evening.

Despite the low tide a group of Black-tailed Godwits were still resting out on the flood, alongside five Dunlin, and I saw a darkish Spotted Redshank feeding behind the clumps at the back of the pool. Two or three pale Ruffs were feeding around the edge.

On a slightly closer Island a group of Golden Plovers were also resting, although they were soon to be disturbed by a Grey Heron flying over them.

When they flew off the chap I'd been watching them with pointed out that a small wader was with them. As we'd been looking, unsuccessfully for a Little Stint we speculated that this might be the bird and that it would by now be on the other side of the Swale.

A few minutes later a small wader with an unfamiliar call arrived on the flood and although we initially lost it we soon found it in a small strip so mud and rocks out in the middle. A look through the telescope revealed an adult Little Stint. Given the direction it arrived from I think that our speculation a few minutes earlier had probably been correct. I also heard another Spotted Redshank calling, but didn't see where it landed.

Just as I was leaving the few Godwits that had remained on the West flood were spooked by something and they returned, bringing with them an Avocet, to the East Flood.

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