Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Day in Kent

Had a day in the Thames Estuary yesterday. Started off at high tide at Shellness, pottered around the Swale until about lunch time and then over to Oare marshes for the rising tide. Ebird lists HERE and HERE

Highlights included the sheer spectacle of the wader flocks set against a back drop of flowering Sea Lavender, a Great Egret at Shellness, an unseasonal Brent Goose there, Whimbrels, the adult Bonaparte's Gull at Oare (now in it's 9th year visiting the site this time of year), a hunting Barn Owl at dusk, a summer plumaged Curlew Sandpiper in Faversham Creek, butterflies feeding on the sea lavender and of course the traditional stop at Leysdown for cockney sea food. 

Moulting adult summer Bonaparte's Gull (above and below) 

Great Egret at Shellness (above and below) 

Brent Goose at Shellness
Juvenile Med Gull- haven't seen so many Meds in this part of the Thames Estuary before with at least 30 flying west over Oare in small groups. 
Whimbrel (above and below)- an evocative classic early autumn migrant 

Black-tailed Godwits- about 1700 in the Swale at the moment. The water level at Oare is high at the moment so most waders were roosting in other parts of the Swale.
Barn Owl hunting over East Flood 
Brown Argus on Sea Lavender . Also had 3 Clouded Yellows, 40+ Gatekeepers, 15+ Essex Skippers, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Common Blue,  Peacock and Large White feeding out on the Salt marsh. Also good numbers of migrant hawkers, a possible Southern Migrant Hawker and Ruddy Darters around.  
Closest I can get is Bilberry Tortrix which is regular on Salt Marsh 
According to my PlantNet app this is Greater Sea-spurrey. Other plants out on the Salt Marsh (according to the app)  included Sea Lavender, Sea Arrowgrass, Square-stalked Willowherb, Common Glasswort, Small Cord-grass, Annual Sea-bite, Sea Purslane, Golden Samphire and also had some Common Wormwood at Oare.  
The Bonaparte's Gull on the rising tide

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