Once again it was time for my friends and I to take ourselves off for the weekly birdwatching jaunt. We had decided on Dungeness this week, as there had been some good birds seen there over the previous few days.
The buzzard spotted as we drove down the M20 started our day well, and once we got to the patch we soon had gannet in our binoculars, I spotted a black tern flying low over the water but moving quickly towards Rye! Malcolm found a kittiwake with the distinctive “W” or “M” on its wings, and we all managed to catch up with it and watch it for some time. As we did so more black tern came across the patch and we all got good views this time. Four ducks – possibly scoter – flew east far out at sea but shall remain unidentified. Common tern, herring gull and cormorant were all feeding on the patch, and on the beach were more common tern, herring gull, black-backed gull and two little gull.
Moving to the ARC Pits and Hanson Hide, we were into ducks, with shoveler, teal, mallard, tufted duck, mute swan, moorhen and coot. We also added lapwing, golden plover, cormorant, dunlin, ringed and little ringed plover, great crested and little grebe. I managed my one spot of the day – a goosander preening way at the back of the pool – much to Malcolm’s disbelief. Swallow, swift and house and sand martin were feeding over the pool. A female marsh harrier swooped low over the back of the pool and disturbed many of the birds.
On to the RSPB reserve proper and after a quick lunch it was more ducks and waders including common sandpiper and more dunlin. Try as we might we couldn’t find the great white egret, but at Denge Marsh hide there were some great sightings of common tern one pair had a juvenile who they appeared to be encouraging on some training flights off the raft. A peaceful scene with lots of the usual scrape sounds. Another great Wednesday out.