Saturday, 20 December 2014

Cattle Egrets at Dungeness

With reports still coming through of two Cattle Egrets at Dungeness coupled with images of them at a reasonable distance I decided on another visit to see if I could connect with them at a closer range than my last encounter. I arrived at silly o'clock  and it was still dark so I had a quick tour around the village before returning as the sun came up. The Cattle Egrets were in the field with the cows along Denge Marsh Road and slowly woke to feed. I was joined by Rob Gordon (nice to meet you Rob) and we both enjoyed a couple of hours with the birds as they came close to rest on the hay which irritated the cattle.
We managed a few respectable shots of the action whilst chatting.

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egrets
Cattle Egrets
Cattle Egrets
Cattle Egrets at Dunge
Having had my fill I moved on in search of Firecrest and after a long walk around the lighthouse, moat and trapping area I found just four birds, a fly over Cormorant, a Robin, a Blackbird and thankfully a Firecrest.
(It was looking like I'd not see one in 2014 but a brief glipse at the rear of the trapping area was enough to put that risk to bed thankfully) After my long lonely walk around the trapping area I moved onto the RSPB reserve and lost count of Great White Egret sightings, there must be at least seven down here.

Heron and GW Egret
Great White!
I spent some time with the Tree Sparrows which I always find entertaining to watch and managed a half decent shot of one too.

Tree Sparrow
From here I moved on towards Walland Marsh with news of Bean Geese between Horse Bones Farm and Hawthorn Corner. All I needed was to find either Hawthorn Corner or Horse Bones Farm and as I passed a farm I quickly reached a row of Hawthorns alive with winter thrushes and it dawned on me that the farm I passed must have been Horse Bones so a quick U turn and I was watching Bewick's Swans and four Tundra Bean Geese for my second year tick of the day.

Bean Geese
Last stop as I was only six miles away on the way home was the White Ibis. I know it's most likely escaped from somewhere and has no chance of acceptance but something made me go see it. 
(Another tick on my escapee list....if I had one)

White Ibis....honest just to the right of the left Cormorant.
Views were distant as it fed on one of the lake islands amongst the Cormorants but my first visit to Sevenoaks Wildfowl Reserve won't be my last. 

Year list now 268

ps....Had to post the pic below just for the Jims...

and one more last pic.....sorry lot's in this post 
A couple of Sparrowhawks found the mounds in the cow field to their liking today and I managed a quick snap of one before some local workmen spooked it.

Cracking day in when can I get out again?

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