After receiving a email from Greenie of http://www.greenieinthewild.blogspot.co.uk/ informing me that there has been a sighting of my favourite drake bird at Dungeness reserve, that being the beautiful Smew, so I had to take a trip to see if I could see it, today was that day, 27th January 2014.The weather was not as forcast, it was a chilly but bright sunny day, with no showers.
Once there I popped into the centre to see what was on the board that shows the days sighting, but there wasn't much on it. While sitting and having a quick look on Burrows Pit and talking to Pam a CHIFFCHAFF appeared to the left of the window with a Robin near by.
Before going over to the ARC Pit to look for the male Smew I thought I would see if I could get a glimpse of the Black Throated Diver that had been seen on the New Diggings. I had visions of having to look from the road but for some reason I said to Pam " I am just going to have a scan from the Dennis Hide.
( I am so glad they named a hide after him, Dennis did so much work around the hide, he played a big part in the assembly of the Firth Hide, plus a lot more carpentry work that needed doing, around the reserve. It is such a shame that he was struck down with a illness that gradually ended up taking his life.)
Back to entering the hide, I sat in the corner where you get the best views, and no Greenie It isn't ' Kens Corner'....yet! The first bird I saw was one of the GREAT WHITE EGRETS that are about, feeding along the shore line, then I started looking through the bushes to the New Diggings where the diver had been seen I scanned the water right to left many times, and then I saw a bird that I wasn't expecting to see, it was a male RED CRESTED POCHARD looking resplendent. I carried on scanning the pit and than I saw it, the BLACK THROATED DIVER but the thing that got me excited was the fact that there was (2) of them. That was some find. I haven't seen one for quite a few years now.
A couple of birders came in and we had a chat and shortly after they pointed out a female GOOSANDER flying right towards the centre.
Well I thought that was the end of it, I was on the verge of packing up when another bird caught my eye, not another good bird on the same pit, yes it was, this time it was a BLACK NECKED GREBE. I recognised it straight away, not only by it's small size but also it's steep forehead and slightly upturned bill. If anyone had told me earlier that day that I was going to see all those lovely species on the one pit I wouldn't have believed them.
On leaving the reserve there was about a dozen or so Tree Sparrow feeding in the farm house garden.
Like many times I was the only one here at the Hanson Hide. so it was down to me to look for the male Smew. There was nothing different on the water, the best ones being the Goldeneye. I spent a long time scanning the water looking for it, or them but nothing, then my worst fears happened, the door opened and in came not one, not two, not three, but a party of 14. The first thing that went through my head was, well I will leave that to your imagination. The one thing I hate is being surrounded by people.
Well I never did find my male Smew, I did see 3 redheads so at least I did see smew.
Again it was a short visit but it was certainly packed with wonderful bird species.
There are many of the more regular species seen today which I haven't mentioned, you can understand why, but I will list them, just because they are the common species it doesn't mean that they should be left out and not get a mention. Here is the days total list: G/B/B/Gull, L/B/B/Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, B/H/Gull, Cormorant, Greylag Geese, Mute Swan, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Black Necked Grebe, , Black Throated Diver, Red Crested Pochard, Smew, Goosander, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Teal, Shoveller, Mallard, Wigeon, Pintail, Coot, Moorhen, Marsh Harrier,Lapwing, Jackdaw, C/Crow, Magpie, Robin, Chiffchaff, House Sparrow, C/Dove
Today's trip was about seeing the scarcer species of birds.
My Bird of the Day is: the male ** RED CRESTED POCHARD.** (but it was a hard choice to make)