▷ Birdwatchers at Oare and Amwell

Two Birdwatching Group outings in November

Group 1 – Group 1 to Oare Marsh: On a sunny day, eleven U3A birdwatchers caught to fast train from St Pancras to Faversham near the north Kent coast. We enjoyed a wonderful, bird-filled day with over thirty different species identified. On the tidal flats were flocks of Dunlin, along with Shelduck, Avocet, Grey Plover and Curlew. We saw Teal, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Black Tailed Godwit, Shovellers and Red Shank feeding in the shallow lagoon. A large gathering of Starling gave us a brief, but spectacular murmuration, before heading west. With Kestrel and Peregrine Falcon above our heads and basking seals on the shore, this was one special outing!

Group 1 – Group 2 to Amwell Quarry, Lee Valley: We drove to the nature reserve, which has two good viewing hides, especially useful on this rainy day, but no other facilities. Although the reserve was quiet during our visit, a Red Kite repeatedly flew within close view and a Goldeneye duck was spotted landing on the lake. The reserve had introduced a herd of young pigs to clear the undergrowth, and as we left, they were making a bid for freedom which much Water Rail-like squealing!

Photographs © Jon Raper

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