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Every Monday we will be visiting one of our nature reserves in the south-east of England to find out which species of birds live there or visit during the spring and summer months.
This week we feature the Oare Nature Reserve in North Kent.
The Oare Marshes are located 11.5 miles north of the village of Oare on the north coast of Kent. The reserve overlooks The Swale Channel and the Isle of Sheppey..
The reserve consists of grazing marsh (one of a few left in Kent) with freshwater dykes, open water scrapes, reedbed, saltmarsh and seawall. In total the reserve covers an area of over 81 hectares.
The reserve is of international importance for migratory, over wintering and breeding wetland birds. Suitable habitat is achieved through manipulation of water levels and livestock grazing. The reserve supports an exciting and diverse range of birds. Amongst the breeding species found here are pied avocet, common redshank, common snipe, northern lapwing, water rail, bearded reedling, common tern and garganey. Migrating species include black-tailed godwit, ruff, little stint, curlew sandpiper and whimbrel. Overwintering species include brent goose, dunlin, Eurasian curlew, Eurasian wigeon, merlin, hen harrier, short-eared owl, Eurasian bittern and twite.
photographs: Dunlin (left) and Common Redshank (right)