With the sun set to shine till after midday I got the passport out and went down to Dungeness.
I started at the fishing boats hoping for the caspian or a glaucous but no such luck. I wandered around for an hour or so checking the various gull roosts but only herrings and black backed were on offer. Along the beach I found a juvenile kittiwake and a few black headed gulls which were interested in some revolting looking entrails but they enabled me to get close and try for a few flight shots, though I have to say my skill with flight shots still leaves a lot to be desired.
|kittiwake with the entrails|
Whilst checking out the ducks at the top (northern) end of the pit I saw something white in the reeds. I assumed it was an egret but as it moved into view it turned out to be a grey heron. Normally this would be of little consequence but as it wandered to the right (as I looked at it) it disturbed a bittern that was ~ 8 yards away. I spent the next half hour watching the antics of these two.
For quite a long time they tried to ignore each other but eventually the bittern decided it wanted move left (towards the heron). To avoid a confrontation it went deep into the water and looked as if it might actually have been swimming if not it was wading in very deep water.
As it moved past the heron the heron turned it's back to it as if pretending it wasn't there.
Once past the heron the bittern clambered out.
|If I ignore him perhaps he'll go away|
|Oh bugger....he's coming towards me|
|What should I do........|
|I know...I'll look away.|
|I'm not looking.......|
I had earlier joked with a RSPB volunteer that I was hoping the heron would scare the bittern over to me but I had to make do with a heron.
|Normal view of a great white egret|
After a few minutes of window cleaning the egret took off and landed 25-30 yards away to my right .....but I now was looking right into the sun!
|Great white egret|
It started fishing so I hoped that it might return across the front of the hide now the window cleaner had gone but it didn't. A heron flew up from just in front of it and up it went, flew across the front of the hide and off down the lake.
And that was that. Nothing unexpected but a very enjoyable morning.