Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Egrets I've had a few.........I dipped it my way

With news of an Egret fest at Dungeness JT and myself decided to have a day looking for white birds with the possibility of an Ibis thrown in for good measure. We were on site at Caldicott by 0800 but despite getting good views of Corn Bunt, Curlew and lots of sheep, the Sheep Egret was nowhere to be seen. We continued onto Denge marsh and careful scanning across the flood revealed a Little Egret, a white plastic bag and plenty of ducks and Lapwing. Undeterred we carried on scanning as 4 Swallows flew over and South but still no 'big egrets' or Ibis! At Denge marsh gully we had a concerted look for fresh migrants and managed another plastic bag or two, a Wren, Robin, and best of all Merlin! My attempts at the traditional short cut back to the road across the concrete 'dam' failed abysmally as my ageing body could no longer master this simple feat of wall climbing.........such is old age!
We had a good session at the ARC stacked with birds and eventually the Great White Egret made an appearance back on Denge marsh, but despite being huge, white and near to the above birders they appear not to have noticed it getting up and flying.
The BIG BOY of the Egret World
Finally the two Glossy Ibis flew into Dengemarsh, having dipped them earlier at the ARC, my 10th and 11th individuals this year !!

A Gull that I'm pretty certain is a Caspian Gull was on the ARC and showed well at times from the Hanson Hide.

Arthur the hide, another tragedy presumably of the recession with it's 'missing' back ?
As the day progressed we managed, Little and Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Bitterns, Glossy Ibis but try as we may we never did find the Cattle Egret that had been around a little while. I remember seeing my first UK Cattle Egret in 1986 near Yeovil having travelled down from Scotland overnight with me old mate Poxing Steve. Nowadays they have bred in the UK and appear at times in small flocks, another great addition to the list of breeding birds in the UK

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