On Saturday, I treated Dad to a day out over in the east, as well as crossing the border into Kent. It was an excellent day, with virtually every target readily accessible straight away.
We first visited Pett Level which was very cold, but eventually, after re-positioning to the roadside pools, a distant group of geese thankfully held 15 White-fronted Geese, but more importantly, the Pink-footed Goose, a species which I still consider as a rarity in the county. 24 Ruff was also a great count and were helpfully all lined up on the roadside pool before heading back into the fields. Three Marsh Harriers were also present.
Scotney was next and although the pit was as usual quiet, a distant flock of White-fronted Geese below the turbines held at least 30 birds. A Great White Egret was also present.
Dungeness was excellent and we wasted no time in heading to the ARC pit where I was delighted to find the redhead Smew – my first in the UK for years! A few drake Goldeneye also present. Along the entrance track, Dad soon found the two Glossy Ibis and two Great White Egrets were here too. And lastly, four Cattle Egrets were in the paddocks. There hadn't been much seen on the reserve and with the prospect of wild swans a short distance away, we opted for them.
Just west of Lydd, again Dad spotted (no idea how I missed them) a 'herd' of 36 Bewick's Swans, and further NW across Walland Marsh, another group of swans held 9 Bewick's and three Whooper Swans.
To avoid twitching all day, we parked at Oyster Creek, Rye and walked a 2-hour circuit taking in Long Pit and Castle Water. Long Pit only had a few Goldeneye and Castle Water the long-staying Black-necked Grebe, so not entirely inspiring, but it's an area I enjoy visiting which usually has more present.
The Shore Lark eluded us at Norman's Bay but the Hooded Crow thankfully remained loyal to end a decent day out.
|Glossy Ibis at Dungeness|
|Cattle Egret at Dungeness|
|Bewick's Swans at Walland Marsh|
|Black-necked Grebe at Rye|
|Smew at Dungeness|