Saturday, 3 November 2007

Dungeness & Eastbourne Pier

An early start to join Dr Ray (there's too many Steves around) at the ARC pit at Dungeness. The rising sun on the mist of Romney Marsh was beautiful.

The hill town of Rye stands above the surrounding marsh like a citadel, with the church at the apex.

The pit was well populated, with Pintail, Gadwall, Shoveller, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Snipe, Lapwings, gulls and the ubiquitous Coots. The hide provided an opportunity to try out Steve's telescope for some digiscoping - with mixed results. He's better at it than me.



Nature red in tooth and claw : we were fortunate to have views of a Marsh Harrier taking a bird from one of the islands, and landing on the opposite bank to eat it. It was seen to be a female with an almost white head with a dark stripe across the eyes.

A weasel chased three rabbits under the hide, and later a male sparrowhawk tried to take a small bird from just yards away from us.

Gadwalls

Pintail, Pintail and Gadwall (I think)

At the other end of the day, with the sun setting, I joined the tourist attraction that is Eastbourne Pier's starling roost. I'd estimate that about 400 birds were in the flock that wheels daily around the pier, before they pour like a waterfall to their chosen roosting places on the girders under the pier floor.

1 comment:

Holly said...

Wow, beautiful pics of the marshes - but how early did you have to get up for those?! Also v. good pics of mushrooms - just don't go eating any ;) xHx