Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Friday, 6 June 2014

**Rye Reserve and Dungeness RSPB Reserve on 5th June**

Long time, no blogging. I am please to have had a good day out to write about. I have been wanting to go down to Rye for a while now, I was just waiting for the right weather conditions, this seemed to be the day.We got there at about 12.30, then it was time for "The walk", well not the long one, the one to the hides via the caravan park.  The weather was bright blue sky's and 16c. it was hard work at times , but it was still a pleasant walk.
Once there I went into the Steve Denny Hide. It would have been nice to have carried the camera, but knowing how far the walk was it was a toss up between the scope or the camera, I went for the scope. Which ever I had chosen I was going to lose out, looking at distant birds, or taking pics of closer birds. There was a reason I chose the scope I wanted good views of the terns. If I had been feeling better than I did I would have made the effort to have taken both.
I settled down in the hide and as with most years it was impossible to ignore the B/H/Gull colony, ideal for budding photographers. It was nice to them at all different stages. I then began scanning the scrape for any waders than might be there. The obvious being the Avocets and there young, it's always amusing watching the sweeping in the shallows looking for food. Over the period of time I was there the following wader species was seen: Lapwing(2) Oystercatcher(3) Curlew(6) Redshank( 4 pairs with young) Spotted Redshank(not quite in it's breeding plumage) Dunlin(11, in breeding plumage) Greenshank(1).
The was a few of the more regular species around: Herring Gull, G/B/B/Gull, Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe(2 pairs with young) Shelduck, Mallard, Cormorant. Finally Comes the terns, I have left them until last for one special reason. I was hoping to see one of my top 5 birds, and after waiting for quite a while with plenty of scanning around I found it, the *LITTLE TERN*(what a bird).  I first picked it up feeding at the back of the scrape, it came it from the sea direction. After a while it settled down on one of the long narrow islands, that is then I got my best views, due to the heat haze I was only able to in to about 45-50x. My day was made and I was a very happy bunny, you ask Pam, god knows how many times I told her about it. I stayed to watch the Sandwich Terns and Common Terns coming and going, swooping down for food and some bringing food to their nests then I called it a day because I wanted to call into Dungeness RSPB Reserve for a quick look around. I didn't bother looking in at the hide opposite because a couple of birders told me that there wasn't much to see. The only other birds I saw on my way back was; Skylark, Little Egret, Starling, C/Crow, Jackdaw, 
We arrived at about 4pm, and made our way to the centre battling our way up the track dodging the bad potholes on the way. Before we reached the centre 3 Hobby's was hawking above us.
When we arrived  Mary was on duty and I discussed the matter with her about the track and she told me that the track is due to be repaired in about 2 weeks time, the sooner the better, that's what I say!
The only bird of interest is the Glossy Ibis, which was at the back of the reserve in the fields where the stilts was, and there was no way I was going to walk that far, fortunately I saw it earlier this year.
I went over to the Hanson Hide over at the ARC Pit. I was there until about 5.45. Watching the birds was made even better with having the sun behind the hide.

The first thing I saw was the number of birds feeding in the air, it was like the gathering of the clans. There must have  been about 200-300 Swifts, House Martins, & Sand Martins feeding up for what might be the long haul very soon.
A expected the usual birds was about: Tufted Duck, Pochard, Teal, Mallard,  Coot's with young, Moorhen, Shoveler, G/C/Grebe( 2 pairs, each with 1 young), Cormorant, Mute Swan, Herring Gull, L/B/B/Gull, B/H/Gull, Grey Heron, Lapwing,  Marsh Harrier( a pair quartering the reeds) Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Lapwing, C/Crow, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, 
The highlight of my visit  here was a Cuckoo flying low across the water from the water tower area over towards the main reserve. On the way back to the car the only bird heard was a Sedge Warbler.

It has been a while since I have put a 'Bird of the Day on my blog but on this particular outing there can only be one winner, hands down it has to be the ***  LITTLE TERN.***


  1. You had quite a day, Ken. As much as I love to photograph birds, nothing beats actually *watching* them when you have to choose one or the other.

  2. Quite a day Ken, quite a day.

  3. Ken ,
    Glad your effort was rewarded with the Terns , that shingle track is not easy .
    A good list for the day , and wouldn't argue with your favourite .
    Glad too that you've sorted the track repairs before my next visit !

  4. Wilma.
    I am pleased that you think the same way as me, thank for your comment.

    It's always good when you pick the right day, Sometimes you have to take a chance on the weather being in your favour.

    That track has got worse and worse, it should have been repaired months ago, it's not as if they are short of materials, Fingers crossed it will nice and smooth when you next visit.

  5. Rye and Dungeness sounds like a tiring day out Ken. Worthwhile though judging by the impressive species list.
    Hope you get more 'tiring' days out soon.