Having felt like just sitting at home since Christmas due to the dreaded man flu, and with Pen then getting the female version, I haven't been anywhere of any significance, so with at last feeling human again I headed over to Dungeness with David, who had also been very much under the weather. The plan was to go around the reserve hoping for Bearded Tits, the Long-eared Owl and a Black-throated Diver, then to head to the sea for the confiding Caspian Gull and then head back to the ARC pit to pick up any other delights we could. Unfortunately, it was bit breezy for the Tits and the Owl was hiding too much so we had to settle for the Diver. Fortunately the Diver did show well with a bit of patience and this made up for the one that was in Ramsgate harbour that we had missed. We also had some nice distant views of a pair of Smew. These have been few and far between this winter so it was pleasing to see these. We then headed for the beach where the Gull had gone missing for the time we were there. I had managed a few shots a couple of years ago of one of these rare gulls and I am posting a shot of that one in a pose that the one yesterday would have had as it laughed at us as it hid from us!! It should be called a Laughing Gull!!
We then headed for the ARC where we had some fly past Great White Egrets and Marsh Harriers. As usual, not quite close enough. The hoped for Bittern didn't materialise but we did get to see a male Bearded Tit and a Cetti's Warbler. All in all we did have a good day despite missing some of the targets, it was however, really good to have a day back out in the field and apart from the larva shots from the previous post it was the first photos I've taken this year.
Black-throated Diver in winter plumage.
Caspian Gull from 2016.
Great White Egret fly past.
Marsh Harrier with brakes on.