Thursday, 15 August 2013

Moments Like This!

For a change this morning I decided to make a visit to one of my favourite reserves that I do not visit as much as I would like during the year, Oare Marshes. I must be one of the only birders in Kent to have not gone and seen the long staying Bonaparte's Gull so with this in mind I duly arrived at 5.45am where Murray Wright was already in position. After getting ready I joined Murray where straight away he put me on to the Bonaparte's Gull at the back of the east flood but later in the session it come a little nearer allowing some nice scope views but always too far for any kind of shot. The next mission here was the Temminck's Stint which after searching the west flood from the road without success we looked from the seawall given another angle and thankfully we found the Temminck's Stint and had distant but nice views. Walking back to the east flood there were hundreds of Black tailed Godwit roosting along with good numbers of Dunlin, Avocet, Ringed Plover,  1 Curlew Sandpiper, c15 Little Egret, 1 Little ringed Plover and 10 Golden Plover. A successful mission with only the Cattle Egret not seen but maybe a return visit is on the cards again soon. I left Murray in peace and had a quick look at Grove Ferry from the ramp and Feast hide. Not that much doing but I did note 3 Little ringed Plover, 1 Garganey, 1 Water Rail, 9 Green Sandpiper and 1 Wood Sandpiper. The last few hours were spent at Coldharbour where I wanted to try and obtain a few better shots of the Wood Sandpipers that have been present in the lagoon. As mentioned in an earlier post this species is scarce at Reculver and normally can only be seen at it flies over calling in the autumn so to have 2 birds present is a bit of a treat. With the sun trying to break through but it never really made it I got myself into a position near the waters edge and hoped they would fly into the corner where they have been seen where there are thousands of little flies on the waters surface. I did not have to wait long until a Greenshank flew in and landed quite close, a species I never get near too at Reculver but for once it seemed to accept me sitting there. This was then followed by the 2 Wood Sandpiper and 1 Common Sandpiper flying in. The title says it all, I was treated to an hour of these birds seemingly not worried by my presence where they happily fed c4 metres away at times. The views were stunning at this range and the camera was called into some serious action again with a number of pleasing images taken. Moments like this are few and far between in birding and it was an excellent experience to study these waders feather detail so close up. With the time running out I left them in peace and made my way back to the car. A great mornings birding with a number of quality birds seen but the Wood Sandpiper experience was fantastic, a moment I shall not forget in a while. I shall post a few other shots of Greenshank and Common Sandpiper in the next few days but hopefully you will enjoy the Wood Sandpiper shots.

Wood Sandpiper


  1. Marc....Brilliant images of the Wood Sandpiper of which no better could be found anywhere else....and that's official.

  2. You can't get better than that Marc, stunning stuff and a rare moment as you say.