It was a wet and windy morning that 5 stalwort members of the group met to see what was on offer at Oare. As we left our cars, reluctantly leaving our lunch behind, we made our way up to look over the Swale. Bracing ourselves against the wind we did our best to watch the birds. Curlews and redshank were feeding on the mud, as the tide was out, and a small group of black-tailed godwits was also present. Not wishing to stand still for too long we quickly made our way along the sea wall, hardly being able to stop and watch due to the wind driving what felt like needles of rain into our faces. The relief on having reached the first hide was evident on all our faces. Protected by the hide we were able to peruse the scene in front of us. Several groups of avocet were to be seen along with more curlew and many dunlin which flew from area to area busily feeding. One moment of excitement was when a peregrine flew through causing a disturbance to the other birds. As we sat there other birds were spotted, some great crested grebes diving some way off, and a group of brent geese appeared to settle on the mud.
We decided we would brave the wind again and left the hide to continue round. On the way some splendid pintail were spotted on the pools along with tufted duck, teal, lapwing and cormorants. Once carefully ensconced in the next hide we had views of more water fowl, shoveler, mallard, coot, wigeon and gadwall. A kestrel gave us a demonstration on how to hover despite the gusting wind and driving rain at times.
As we walked back to the cars we decided that we had made the best of a bad weather day and would head back home to the dry and warm with a count of 33 birds under our belt. Not to be sneezed at in the conditions.