Thursday, 30 July 2020

Day in Kent, Lesser Yellowlegs and Southern Migrant Hawkers

Another fantastic day, yesterday,  in Kent. Great to finally get back into the field for some autumn birding. I spent the morning at Elmley Marshes and the late afternoon/evening for high tide at Oare Marshes.
Elmley Ebird list HERE and Oare Marshes HERE.

Highlights included the adult Lesser Yellowlegs at Oare, Southern Migrant Hawkers at Elmley, large numbers of Marsh Harriers at Elmley and the usual wader spectacle at Oare . Also an unseasonal presumed Merlin at Elmley (or escape).

Oare Marshes
 Adult Lesser Yellowlegs 

It was great to keep picking up the Yellowlegs, while scanning the flocks of waders as it moved across the East Flood. Here it is trying to hide amongst Redshank, re-united after millions of year of evolution.  
 Such a classic early autumn icon- Juvenile plumage Mediterranean Gull 
 Whimbrel. Another evocative sight and sound of early autumn- I missed a flock of 50 migrating over just before I arrived. 
 One of two Golden Plovers- pioneers of more typical later autumn migrants to Oare 
 There was a noticeable visible migration of Dunlin occurring with flocks arriving, feeding and then circling before gaining height and flying across land.
 Avocets in the evening light at Oare 


 Southern Migrant Hawker- at least two of these. Also Ruddy Darters and Black-tailed Skimmer. 
 Juvenile Little Ringed Plover. Also a few Common and Green Sandpipers at Elmley but I did visit at low tide so most waders were out on the Swale. 
 Pretty good numbers of Yellow Wagtail at Elmley 
 Raptor sp. Had this small dark falcon hunting hirundines and yellow wagtails but it disappeared. There's something in the talon area which might be jesses so might be an escaped bird but it looked like a Merlin, especially the way it was behaving - might be carrying prey 

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