Welcome to my birdwatching blog. This blog will contain stories about my bird watching trips, interesting bird news and other tales that may or may not be bird related. I want to make it useful to the avid birder as well as those who may only have a passing interest in bird watching. I enjoy photographing bird life, common and rare through a spotting scope, not that they always sit still long enough for me. Being on the outskirts of North East London, my reports will not only cover my local patch of Redbridge/Waltham Forest, but also dip into deepest Essex, Suffolk, Kent and Norfolk.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Rule No.1. Look after your equipment Braun.

The day had started well enough. Clear skies and a warming breeze were the order of the day as I drove down to Oare Marshes en route to Dungeness.
Oare Marshes
Oare Marshes sit snugly on Kent’s eastern side, set against a backdrop of the Swale estuary and close to ye olde town of Faversham. The marshes are made of of two distinct areas. The east flood is viewable from the road and can provide close views of a number of wildfowl and wader species. Between this and the estuary is a pathway that takes you around the pools that are fringed by reedbeds.

The reeds were alive with sedge warblers and bearded tits. Both these species were establishing their territories and were actively flying back and forth, low over the reeds. Their activity precluded me from getting any photos so I kept my homemade adaptor in my pocket – or so I thought.

From the west flood, an area that is more secluded and usually quieter there were wheatear and a few lapwing.

From here I took the coastal road to Dungeness. This took some time obviously due to the good weather and everyone heading to the coast. Eventually, I got to Dungeness, full of expectation as this site has rarely let me down.

From the off, I could tell things were not going to be good. There was now a strong easterly wind across the desert area and hardly a bird to be seen or heard. I had hoped for a few migrants, a black redstart or even a wheatear would have been something…but nothing. I then headed for the fishing boats where the glaucous gull had been reported for a few days now. I located it and thought a few shots would be great but it didn’t matter how many times I searched my jacket, I couldn’t find my photo adaptor. Brilliant, I thought, this had just about screwed the day as much as was possible. Still, it was a nice glaucous gull.

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