After last Thursday's attempt to see what was about at Dungeness being washed out due to the horrendous weather, I thought I would go and see what today was going to bring. The weather was on my side, that was a good start.
The water level is low enough for the islands and shallows to show, so after leaving the centre I stopped off in the Firth Hide for a while to see what was about. The one species of bird that couldn't be missed was a good number of Sand Martin.
There wasn't many waders about, the only ones I saw was 3 Common Sandpiper, 1 Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, and a few Redshank. There was quite a few wildfowl around, but there was one that stood out from the rest, and that was a male in eclipse Red Crested Pochard. The other birds seen here on Burrows Pit was: Marsh Harrier(f), Greylag Geese, Canada Geese Cormorant, G/C/Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Gadwall, Teal, Shoveller, Cormorant, G/B/B/Gull, L/B/B/Gull, Herring Gull, B/H/Gull,
Pam and I had our lunch over the road at the ARC Pit. I made this next stop because of the variety of birds that was here, thanks to the notice board in the centre. As over the road the water level is low, as low as I have seen it for a long long time. There was plenty of birds to keep happy, and it didn't take me long to see 7 of what I saw 1 of a Oare Marsh last Saturday, and that was WOOD SANDPIPERS. After seeing that one at Oare, I thought that was going to be it for this year, I have never seen 7 together and I might never again.They had other waders for company, 1 Greenshank, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Ringed Plover, 7 Black Tailed Godwit, 3 Redshank, 36 Golden Plover, c60-80 Lapwing, 7 Ruff.
The was a Grey Heron up to it's chest Stalking it's prey in front of the reeds in front of the hide, It is a fascinating thing to watch, moving about in the water with virtually no ripples as it eyes up it's next meal and then comes the strike, with such accuracy. Many people like me may think that it is quite something to see, but how many of us actually stop to think about the little creature is had just downed?
Among the duck here was 2 Garganey, the one I saw was a female, as for the other one, I never did find it.
The remaining species was virtually the same as over the road, but in larger numbers, and that includes Sand Martin.
I didn't want to stay too long because the word had been going around about a Bedstraw Hawkmoth that had been trapped last night at the observatory , and is a rarity, so Like a few others Pam and I went there to see if we could see it, but once we got there Dave Walker was out and the observatory was closed. We waited around for a while but he never returned, so a number of us didn't get to see it, still "That's life".
So this is where I pick my "Bird of the day". Today I am going to be unorthodox, there are quite a few nice birds to chose from, but I am picking the ** GREY HERON.**
This is not a bird I would normally think of picking, but after having such close views of watching how it feeds, the stealth and the concentration in the eye for that pinpoint strike. That is my reason why.