Saturday, 20 February 2010

Morning at Camber - evening at Dungeness

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.
It's been a good year for seeing bitterns, as harsh weather on the continent seems to have driven them over here (as it has Woodcock, Fieldfares and Redwings, but not geese, swans or owls apparently). It was only a matter of time, therefore, before I finally got a decent view of one.
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.


Greenie said...

Steve ,
The sort of trip I had planned , and you had success with the species I was hoping for , well done .
Yesterday's light was perfect , but I was hedgelaying at Lingfield , and all change today .
See you managed another old pile .

Mary said...

What a great looking castle to explore. The birds are great too. I like that photo of the one hiding in the grass and the one on the ice. Birds just look funny on ice...not meant for it, as you say.

Charlie P said...

Thanks Steve - I'm hoping to make a trip to Rye/Dunge in the next couple of weeks, this whets the appetite...