Sep 272012

Rainbow over Sheppey

Braving the rain

Waiting for the tide

On Wednesday it rained cats and dogs almost all day but that didn’t stop us setting off for the Kent Wildlife Trust reserve at Oare. The rain fell vertically all the way to Faversham and, as it showed no sign of stopping, we decided to visit the new Faversham Community Centre, near Oare, and have a cup of tea while we waited for it to dry up. It didn’t, so we went to the reserve regardless & had an early lunch in the carpark. We were worried that eating & drinking was all we would be able to do when suddenly the sky brightened and we were able to dash to the scrape hide.
Here the birds waited for the tide to turn, preening and washing, apparently indifferent to the rain. Hundreds of Black-tailed Godwits were accompanied by many Golden Plover, Ruff, Ringed Plovers and Lapwing. We spotted two Little Stints, a single Greenshank and a Yellow Wagtail. No sign of the longed-for Curlew Sandpipers though. A Black-tailed Godwit and a Ruff both had leg rings which we were able to see well. We will send this information to the BTO and hopefully we and the BTO will discover more about the birds. Finding out where birds winter and have their feeding grounds can be important for protecting them.

When the rain was at its heaviest the waders stopped preening, faced into the deluge and stood stoically waiting for it to ease. Presumably by presenting a streamlined shape to the elements like this their plumage avoids being damaged.

Swallows streamed through the reserve all day, on their way south I suppose. They seemed to be feeding as they dipped low over the pool and reed beds, the reserve must be an important food source for them. Bon Voyage Swallows!

At the Swale Hide a beautiful rainbow appeared over Sheppey when, for a short time, the sun came out. A final nice surprise as we left the car park was a Winchat perched on a Bramble bush. Oare is a wonderful reserve for birds and for people, and is worth a visit whatever the weather!


 Posted by on 27 September 2012 at 10:40 pm

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