Black Necked Grebe at Scotney.
Yesterday the 13th February i headed off to Scotney and Dungeness Rspb reserve to take advantage of the forecast of sunshine after the very cold & dull last few days.
I called into Scotney first of all hoping to try and find the Black necked Grebe & Scaup that were reported the day before and although the sun was out it was very windy and the water on Scotney was very choppy indeed , however eventually i found the Black necked Grebe quite close in and sheltering from the wind.
Digi scoped photo of Black necked Grebe.
Despite my best efforts i couldn't locate the Scaup which were probably still there but sheltering out of sight somewhere out of the wind.
I decided then to head to Dungeness Rspb reserve and do the full circuit around the reserve , It was fairly quite looking from the Dennis hide so i continued on past the dipping pond (no sign of the Long eared owls) and went to the Firth hide , i quickly scanned the wildfowl and saw 2 'Redhead' Smew , there were lot's of Tufted Duck, Pochard & Shoveler with a scattering of Gadwall, Mallard & Teal, there was also at least 5 Goldeneyes.
There were plenty of Gulls on the islands and after a scan i saw a superb adult Yellow Legged Gull which was a new addition to my year list.
Adult Yellow legged Gull.
I then had a look from the Makepeace hide and i instantly saw something in the water , a look through my bins confirmed a Peregrine Falcon which was quite a surprise !!!
My initial thoughts were it has caught something but it hadn't , it was just having a wash , it proceeded washing then had a fly around shaking it's feathers dry.
Shaking it's feathers.
If you enlarge the above photo you can see the droplets of water falling off the Peregrine ,it then did a bit of a fly around before heading off towards the power station.
A really great birdwatching moment to witness , i didn't add anything else from here and a look from both the Scott & Christmas dell hides didn't add anything new either.
I didn't go into the Denge marsh hide as i was told that a drake Smew was showing quite well at Hookers pit.
These are such stunning looking birds and it's been a good couple of years since i have seen a drake Smew, there was also a Great White Egret nearby.
Having had my fill of this stunning bird i had a mug of coffee on Hookers mound view point in the hope a Bittern would do a fly by but sadly it didn't , i then started my walk back along the trail to the visitor centre and saw 2 Egyptain Geese as they flew past.
On the way out of the reserve i had a look over Cooks pool and the ♂ Ring necked Duck was still present and there was also another 'Redhead' Smew present , a quick look over the feeders produced Reed Bunting & Tree Sparrow, another really enjoyable days birding.