About Me

I am a novice to birding and have become interested since walking Frank our dog, a cross Flat Coat / Springer around Hastings Country Park and the surrounding area, I realised the little brown birds weren't just sparrows.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Purple Herons

Today was to be another sea watch but with the unfavourable weather conditions in that south westerly breezes were forcast and we wanted south easterly the event was cancelled. But with reports of there being 2 Purple Herons at Dungeness the temptation was too great and so arrived at 9.00am with ground wet from the overnight rain. A quick walk round the reserve to the Dengemarsh hide, passing plenty of Reed Buntings, Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers, Swallows and Swifts overhead. From the hidewhich was quickly filling up there was 2 nesting Sandwich Terns on the raft, a Ruddy Duck, Great Crested Grebes and Cootes, a Grey Heron flew over. Some one shouted Purple Heron as one flew from around the ramp to the cottage at the back of the pit landing in thick reeds out of sight. Good views (showing off its yellow neck and legs against the dark body). After waiting 15 minutes I decided to carry on round the trail and found a couple of Wheatears.

A half hour look on the sea turned up a flock of 20 Common Scoter and something I couldn't recognise like a gannet but with long dark grey wings, white long neck like a divers.

As I had plenty of work I should be doing in the fine weather I headed for home but did a detour along Dengemarsh road in case i got a better view of the Purple Herons, glad I did as on the bridge a dozen or so birders were there and within 5 minutes of arriving the pair flew out of the reeds flew for a 20 seconds or so and then dropped back into the reeds, one appeared to edge forward and so could get a glimpse of it standing, it then turned round and went out of sight. Another new one to my list. now standing at 187 life, 175 this year.

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