Thursday, 25 December 2014

Thursday 25th. December 2014

When Carol told me yesterday morning that she didn't need any help with the final shopping for the festivities , I was gutted ! A look at the weather forecast said that a dull start would get better , and that was enough to head for Dungeness , on some unfinished business . The forecast was not wrong , as between Maidstone and Ashford it tipped down , and was drizzling on and off when I arrived at Lydd , where the two Cattle Egret that I only managed to photograph as a distant fly over on my last visit , had taken up residence with the cows in the field next to the football pitch on Dengemarsh
Road , and sure enough , in the mirk on arrival , found them sheltering around the bales of cattle feed . I took a couple of record shots , in the hope of better weather later on , then on to the ARC car park and a wet walk up to the screen , hoping for a Bittern , but it wasn't to be . Some compensation
was a Great White Egret that flew in from the other side of the pit , and it wasn't long before it struck
into it's breakfast . At almost the same moment , a female Marsh Harrier rose from it's roost in the
reedbed , and almost immediately dropped behind the reeds , and that was the last I saw of her . Before leaving the screen , I did see my hoped for Bittern , but it lifted from the reeds beyond the Hanson Hide and seemed to drop down on the other side of the road . A slow run up to the RSPB visitor Centre in heavier rain , failed to find anything of interest , but the feeders did produce a single Tree Sparrow , a few mixed Tits and a Moorhen cleaning up underneath . A quick dash to Dennis's Hide only produced Shoveler and Coot , both in good numbers , but no sighting of the Goosander that had been seen recently . On the way back down the track , a female Kestrel didn't bother to move as I
passed , the look on her face saying 'I'm wet' or maybe , 'What you doing birding in this?' A drive down to the lighthouse didn't set the pulse racing with little seen other than the gull roost that held
many Great Great Black-backed along with a multitude of Herring . Another look in at the Cattle Egrets in slightly better light , found one of them playing 'King of the Castle' , keeping the local
Jackdaws from taking it's throne . Scotney Pits were wild and windy and I quickly lost hope of finding the male Scaup that had been seen recently . The feral flock of Barnacle Goose , with a few
Emperor type amongst them , the first time I have seen the latter there . With some brightness appearing in the distance , I decided to make my final stop at Rye Harbour Reserve . That brightness had also brought families , dog walkers and cyclists out , so I wasn't expecting much . Hundreds of Golden Plover were swirling over the site , but apart from a small flock of Linnet and about 25 Reed Bunting that were disturbed from their feeding as I passed , that was about it .
And finally , I thought I was mad birding in the conditions , but that was nothing compared to how
some people spent their day !
Have a good one .

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Those LB's were a great find Greenie, nice one :-)