Not quite a lifer but still a cracking bird

I took my second ever visit to the Oare Marshes in Kent for seeing the long staying Bonaparte’s Gull which is now in stunning breeding plumage. It took a while to find it in on the mudflat of The Swale estuary. At low tide, it normally goes feeding on the mud but uses the Oare Marshes for roosting. Late in the morning, it left the mud an for roosting allowing birdwatchers to watch it from a close distance. Here are some not so impressive heavily cropped record shots.

The fine black bill, all black head and feather structure on the wings made identification rather straightforward.Sony RX10 IV. © Gyorgy Szimuly

This Bonaparte’s Gull has been a returning visitor of the area for the last 7 years, according to local birders. Sony RX10 IV. © Gyorgy Szimuly

At the roosting place, it landed on the closest mud islet and started preening immediately (second bird from the right). Sony RX10 IV. © Gyorgy Szimuly

The views through the spotting scopes were cracking. Sony RX10 IV. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Northern Lapwing in its breeding territory. Sony RX10 IV. © Gyorgy Szimuly

By now this is a very rare sight in England but still a few pairs of Eureopean Turtle Doves breed near the Oare Marshes. Sony RX 10 IV. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Watching purring European Turtle Doves reminded me to my childhood in Hungary where it was quite common. Sony RX 10 IV. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Red Fix is passing through the roosting flock of Black-tailed Godwit and Common Redshank in the Oare Marches. Sony RX 10 IV. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Here is the eBird list from the area.

Greylag Goose (Anser anser anser) 18
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) 7
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata) X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) X
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca crecca) X
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) 4
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) 1
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) 2
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta garzetta) 10
Eurasian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) 3
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) X
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) 4
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) 29
Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus ostralegus) 4
European Golden-Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) 1
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) 30
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus phaeopus) 1
Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) 6
Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) 360
Ruff (Calidris pugnax) 6
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) 1
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus) 2
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) 138
Bonaparte’s Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia) 1 ad.
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 190
European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argentatus) 12
Common Wood-Pigeon (Columba palumbus) 9
European Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia turtur) 1
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) 1
Common Swift (Apus apus) 1
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 2
Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmicus) 11
Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis) 4
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 9
Eurasian Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus) 1
Eurasian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus scirpaceus) 13
Eurasian Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) 1
Greater Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) 1
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 26
White Wagtail (British) (Motacilla alba yarrellii) 5
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) 1
Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) 6
Eurasian Linnet (Linaria cannabina) 3
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 3


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