Camber Castle near Rye is the focus of the long walk to Castle Water hide, but at least we have now found a slightly shorter route. And it was well worth the hike.
We saw at least two, obligingly flying from reedbed to reedbed, crashing ungainly into the reeds like chickens.The light was lovely, but ice remains on the pits making food hard to find. A Water Rail walked out, then quickly thought better of the plan and returned into the reeds. It's clear that the rail's feet are better suited to gripping the foliage than sliding on ice.
Nice views of the Rye from the hide " the cone-shaped town standing lonely in the marshes, the wide, windswept levels rejected by the sea" as Brooke described it.
Back across the county line in Kent, the highlight at Dungeness was two Black-necked Grebes...
...and later in the late afternoon light a Smew swam across in front of the hide, to feed along the edge of the pit.
I've previously only been there in the morning - the dimming of the day is peaceful as the birds prepare for the cold night ahead.