Saturday, 28 February 2009

Reed Buntings at Oare Marshes

Today I spent most of the day at Oare Marshes a KWT Reserve and logged a total of 54 species. My first encounter was a small group of House Sparrows and Reed Buntings feeding on fat-balls and seed on the edge of the car park. One individual kindly posed for me.
As it was low tide when I arrived I decided to take the path to Dan's Dock and was rewarded with more sightings of Reed Buntings everywhere plus dancing Skylarks, a few Linnets and Meadow Pipits. Most unexpectantly a Goldcrest also made a brief appearance. A male Marsh Harrier was being mobbed by Crows on the other side of The Swale. Sparrowhawk & Kestrel were also seen. On my return walk I snapped these three "Tufties".
Konik are an unusual breed of small horse, or pony, originally from Poland. This stocky and hardy breed shows many of the characteristics of the Tarpan, which was the original wild horse of Europe's Forests. Koniks have proved to be ideally adapted to year-round grazing on grassland and wetland habitats and they have been used by several conservation organisations to help manage nature reserves both in Britain and Europe.
These two were having a running battle but when I got close enough for a picture they stopped fighting - just my luck!

Very few waders flew into the East Flood as the tide rose apart from good numbers of Common Redshank plus one Ruff (new tick for 2009) and I spotted at least 12 Common Snipe but none of them were particularly obliging nor was the light! So only managed a 'rear' view.And once again, nearly the last bird seen was another Reed Bunting...I lost count but it was definitely their day.


  1. I've gotten my share of "rear" shots too. Your Reed Bunting is a handsome bird. I actually really like the shot of the Snipe from behind. It show his beautiful camouflaged back and the reflection looks neat.

  2. Love your photos. The horse picture is wonderful! I can't believe how many species you got in one day! I have never had that luck!! congrats

  3. 54 species and beautiful photos to boot...I feel so inadequate!! Have never seen a Konik...very cute!

  4. Sounds like a good trip to Kent Frank. The light, I agree, was dreadful yesterday but the last picture of the Reed Bunting is great!

  5. The Reed Bunting. Nice bird and always worth a shot or two Frank.

  6. Got some good photo's, despite the light. I agree with Lynne on the snipe photo

  7. Very nice photos Frank, seems like you had a wonderful day out. Loved the Reed Bunting and the horses were spectacular.

  8. That last picture is lovely--such a nice background he pops!

  9. Looks like you had a good day in the field. Thanks for taking us along. I was surprised to see your Common Snype, then saw in my references that it is found through the northern hemisphere!

  10. Thanks everyone for your appreciative comments.

    Lynne & Warren - The preview on the camera looked pretty drab, I'm glad I took a chance & kept it until I got home despite the poor light.

    Kallen, It's all about location, location, location & then a bit of luck! 112 species have been seen at Oare this year already by the regular watchers.

    Kelly, It might have been more, but I now seem to be looking for photos as well as pure watching - a balancing act. I'll post some more pics of the Koniks for you ALL very soon.

    Tricia, Roy & nina - I agree. They were accomodating, well mostly.

    Shysongbird - Glad you came along again.

    Steve - Someone else saw a group of 20 - 30 drop into the marsh. Just a pity we couldn't find a 'Jack' that would have been a trip bird for me at Oare.

  11. Hi Frank,
    54 species!!! Woow man, that's great!! I love your last reed-bunting picture, it is a wonderful one.And the rear shot of the snipe remind me of some post!!
    Good job Frank

  12. Thanks Chris, the last RB shot was a bit of luch, but that's what birdings about sometimes. Whilst I often keep a list during my walks on this occassion I left it until I got home - the final total often surprises even me.


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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