Monday, 4 January 2021

A Swale Surprise!

 My first outing of 2021 on Saturday 2nd, a walk along the sea wall at Seasalter where the dull and dreary conditions were brightened by the appearance of an adult male Eider Duck seen on the Swale up past Castle Coote and not far from the creek at Oare. Normally found much further North, it was somewhat of a surprise to see a Drake in breeding plumage loafing around the North Kent coastline and it is the first time I have been able to photograph one looking like this. All my previous photos have been either female or 1st winter males. It's quite a smart looking Duck in this plumage. Hiding behind the sea wall, along with Tim Gutsell, whom I met on the walk up, we were able to get a few images between dives as the bird worked its way along the shoreline. The Duck stayed for about twenty minutes before swimming back out into the Swale and being lost to sight.

A smart male Hen Harrier was seen hunting over Castle Coote before returning back across the Swale to Sheppey where it arrived from, (thanks Mark Chidwick for the call) and on the walk back, a solitary Snow Bunting was seen along the concrete apron by the white post. (Thanks Mike Gould and Mark again) 

An excellent start to 2021, I hope it's not downhill from here.