I haven't been to Dungeness for quite a while so it was about time I did, and I couldn't have picked a better day, the weather was lovely, sunny, and just a little breeze. I arrived at about 12.15 and we to the Firth Hide. It is nice to see the water level is pretty low, with some good sandy beach's out front. There was good views of 3 Black Tailed Godwits surrounded by lots of Teal. There was many of the usual wildfowl that one would expect to see, and it is nice to see the Pintails increasing, the males look stunning when the sun is on them. There was 2 other wader species out in front and they was Lapwing and a single Avocet. The birds at the far side went up occasionally when a Marsh Harrier did a few fly byes.
After a while of scanning the birds I came across a female GOOSANDER which was shortly followed be a female GOLDENEYE. Out of all the G/W/Egrets around I didn't see any. The other species of birds seen was as follows: Little Egret. Grey Heron. Cormorant. G/B/B/Gull. L/B/B/Gull. B/H/Gull. Common Gull. Mallard. Shoveller. Shellduck. Tufted Duck. Pochard. Gadwall. Teal. Pintail. Wigeon. Mute Swan. Coot. Moorhen. Pied Wagtail. Starling. C/Crow.
I then decided to go across the road to the ARC Pit, but when I got to the track a short way up from the farm house I pulled over where couple of cars was at, they was scanning the water in hope of seeing the RING NECKED DUCK that had been reported being there.....somewhere!
My stop was not in vane, at the far end of the field where all the cows were at was the CATTLE EGRET . I was happy with that, I would have preferred the other one but hey still made my day. Just before I left Mike Hook came along and said "Hi". Nice seeing you again, been a while. The other birds in the fields was: Canada Geese, Greylag's, Wigeon.
I did go over road after a while I thought there might be a few more there than there was. The car park was empty apart from a couple, and one of those was just getting ready to go. Once in the hide after chatting to a lady we heard the squeal of a Water Rail, and it sounded close by. After a while of watching the reeds out of the side window we didn't see 1....we saw 2 WATER RAILS together. That is the closest views I have had of one, not only was I excited, I was also annoyed, I had left the camera in the car. I never expected to see something so close, I really should know better shouldn't I ???
Time was getting on which gave me just enough time for a couple of scans, and I am glad I did. About three quarters of the way out from the hide was a BLACK NECKED GREBE. That was the icing on the cake, nice weather, great birds, and a bag of chips on the way home, well that was the plan, but the chippy was so busy I decided against it. We drove through the lanes back to Lydd where we unexpectedly saw a Common Buzzard sitting on the ploughed field.
So it is about time I started to pick a ** Bird of the Day again. Today I am choosing the ** 2 WATER RAILS. **