Thursday, 5 August 2010

The only thing I can't resist is Temptation!

After a dash through. what was a disappointing, catch of moths, I had a quick look round at the Monument. A few minutes and a brief call to Phil, was enough to convince me that there wasn't much to see there. As I hadn't been down to Dungeness to see the Purple Herons and since there was a possibility to see SIX heron species in one day in Kent I couldn't resist.

As soon as I got to the bridge along Denge Road I saw the Great White Egret, already under the surveillance of several birders. The views were good telescope views but rather distant for decent photographs, unless you are good at "digiscoping".

The Great White Egret had a little foray into the open, but soon made it's way back to a position where it was hidden by the reeds.

When they turn their heads round, these large herons can hold their necks in the most weird snake-like shapes. A Bittern flew over while we were looking for the juvenile Purple Heron that had been around. After a while my impatient gene got the better of me and I decided to go and have a look at the ARC pits. As I was preparing to go Ray Turley watched the Cattle Egret land distantly, almost out of view on a gate to the left of the flood.

From the road this distinctive white blob could be seen quite well through a 'Scope'. I have never thought that Cattle Egrets were particularly charismatic, and with views that this one was giving I any unlikely too change my mind.

At the ARC pits I met Dave Walker who was watching a Lesser Emperor Dragonfly. Try as I may I just couldn't get a picture of this migrant. Unlike Emperors it never seemed to stop and hover over one place for a few seconds. I did manage to get a picture of one of the many common Darters around. There were several Little Egrets feeding in front of the screen and I heard both Whimbrel and Greenshank. From here I waked out to the Dengemarsh Hide where I was rewarded with good views of the flying juvenile Purple Heron and Grey Heron flying over. So six species of heron, but only one close enough to take photos of. I may have seen six species of heron in a day in southern France (no bittern but add in Night Heron), but surely the current Dungeness experience is unprecedented in the UK.

1 comment:

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Tony.
That was quite a day at Dunge yesterday, wasn't it. Sorry that I didin't recognise you either. Still at least we both saw the Big 6.