I arrived at the Grove Ferry entrance gate once again at 5.00am with the temperature gauge now reading only 16 degrees, a fair bit cooler than two days ago. Knowing I didn’t have long today I made my way to the Ramp where the Ruff and Grey Heron were pretty much in their usual positions with a few Lapwings and plenty of Ducks for company. At around 5.20 I caught site of the Great-white Egret dropping in to the pool in front of Feast hide and, hoping it stayed until after sun up so I could creep up on it and get a better photo, I stayed on the Ramp as 14 Little Egrets began arriving on the pool. At 5.22 the juvenile Purple Heron arose from the left hand corner of the now unseen right hand pool, flew low across the main pool, gained height and carried on out the same way as yesterday towards Marshside/Chislet/Sarre Penn! No heard all weekend, a Turtle Dove purred from the Paddocks while 2 Water Rails called out from the reed bed and 8 adult Marsh Harriers left the reserve (4 male & 4 female). The Wigeon was once again on the pool as was the juvenile Little Grebe and 4 of the five Garganey, the 5th was in front of Feast hide. At 5.55am the Great-white Egret decided it couldn’t wait for me to come and take its picture and flew out of Feast pool and came down amongst the Little Egrets on the main pool only for the errant Grey Heron to give chase and force it to fly to one of the un viewable back pools.
|Great-white in the pink of the early morning sunrise|
A Hobby flew close over the ramp, 2 Whitethroats moved through the Ramp bushes and the first of 3 Cetti’s Warblers were heard as well as the first of 6 Green Woodpeckers seen and heard. The Water Meadows still had 2 Wood Sandpipers plus 7 Green Sandpipers, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Greenshank while along the river a Kingfisher perched briefly on a riverside reed stem. The lake at Stodmarsh had 2 Common Terns, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Great-crested Grebe and 5 Grey Herons and I also noticed that the blue-green algae has come back. Small birds are almost non-existent at the moment with just a couple of Reed Warblers, 1 Sedge Warbler and a few Chiffchaffs although a family of 10 Long-tailed Tits were seen. Several Bearded Tits were encountered with a total of at least 30 birds and a noisy flock of 230 Greylag Gees flew in with all but 60 odd dropping on to the Water Meadows. Back at the ramp I had a little flurry of Swallows and Ring-necked Parakeet called from the river direction. Time was approaching 10.00am and it was time for me to head in to Dover to collect my step daughter and her new born baby girl from Buckland Hospital. Not a bad few hours I’d say.
|Marsh Harrier female|