Friday, 14 February 2020

Northern Pintails at Oare Marshes

When visiting Oare for the Bearded Tits, I noticed several Pintails on the East flood and made a mental note to return one afternoon to hopefully grab a few images. I returned on the afternoon of the 8th with an appearance from the sun being forecasted for the later part of the day and hopefully ideal for my visit. It was still cloudy and a little gloomy on arrival at the pull in between the two floods but encouragingly the line between grey and blue overhead could be clearly seen approximately an hour away behind me to the west. There were a few Drake Pintail in front of me and about as close as they could be from the pull in between the floods so I set about getting a few images whilst waiting for the overhead cloud to move off.

As predicted by the weather forecast, the cloud disappeared, leaving a blue sky and some lovely late afternoon sunshine, the Pintail's immediately looking a lot more dapper with the sun on their backs.

There were eleven drakes seen during the afternoon, all vying for the attention of the several duck Pintail present and a few were caught as they flew around the flood chasing after each other.

Lovely looking ducks and a great afternoon at Oare marshes.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Bearded Delights

Hopefully, somewhere in a reed bed near you, there will be Bearded Tits, arguably the best looking reed bed dwellers the U.K has to offer. Always a delight to happen upon and a brief session in the reed bed around the sluice on the Eastern Flood at Oare a few days ago was a welcome distraction from the Avian non event that is usually associated with the early months of January and February. I spent about an hour with a small flock of four birds with four or five more joining them as the hour progressed. Waiting patiently for a bird to perch clear of the reed bed clutter eventually paid off with a few images below.

Bearded Tit (Male)

Bearded Tit (Female)

One female individual had black eyes, I do not know the cause of this but it certainly stood out from the other females.

As I was walking back to the car a flock of Long-tailed Tits passed through the reed bed alongside the path, one bird posing just long enough to get a grabbed shot.

Probably just as good looking as the Beardies.

The start of February has been poor weather wise (we are only a week in) with the wind coming mainly from a westerly direction and strong enough to be uncomfortable. I have not ventured out apart from a couple of half hearted visits to the Grove Ferry reserve where the only creature to trouble the camera was a fly over Great White Egret. Hopefully with the onslaught of Spring just around the corner, things will improve.

Thanks for looking.