Friday 3 August 2018

Oare Marshes, Bough Beech Reservoir, Leith Hill and Canons Farm

A long and enjoyable day in the field with Bob, over from Kansas. We started at Oare Marshes, arriving shortly after high tide. The adult Red-necked Phalarope was immediately visible on the East Flood, where we also tracked down a Spotted Redshank and a Little Stint. Other waders present included a Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpipere, a couple of Greenshanks and Whimbrel, a few Ruff and Snipe, a juvenile Little Ringed Plover and the usual hordes of Black-tailed Godwits and Redshanks. Adding to the set of waders were the usual Avocets, Oystercatchers and Curlews. Caldrids were in short supply, with only a couple of Dunlin noted in addition to the stint. At least two Turtle Doves were showing nicely in the scrub near the cottages and we enjoyed nice views of Bearded Reedlings, Sedge Warblers and Reed Warblers by the road. A Clouded Yellow was my first this year.

adult Red-necked Phalarope at Oare Marshes

Turtle Dove at Oare Marshes

At Bough Beech Reservoir we had two Garganey on the North Lake, along with three Mandarins and a scattering of Teal.  Four Green Sandpipers were at the back. There were good numbers of Egyptian Geese and Little Egrets around the margins, as well as many Great Crested Grebes on the water. A short walk in the woodland revealed a couple of Bullfinches and Nuthatches.

two Garganey at Bough Beech Reservoir, with a Mallard

Next we parked up for a short while at the foot of Leith Hill in Coldharbour and enjoyed nice views of a couple of Siskins around the village - a bird that Bob had never seen before. A number of Swallows nesting in the adjacent stables were very active and vocal. By now it was really getting quite hot! We ventured up onto Duke's Warren, hearing a Redstart but otherwise there was only a Willow Warbler of any note.

A walk along Reads Rest Lane at Canons Farm soon produced Bob's desired Yellowhammers, as well as a bonus lifer for him in the form of a Wheatear - the site's first of the autumn.

Wheatear at Canons Farm