Thursday, 6 September 2018
This Great White Egret was taking exception to a small group of Common Terns that were chasing each other and squabbling just above it. Strange to think that not that many years ago this individual would have been the subject of a nationwide twitch.
And talking of 'colonisers' here's another, albeit an earlier adopter of the UK as home. Cetti's Warbler really started its northwards spread back in the 1970s, and, apart from the odd cold-weather set-back, has been expanding further north into the UK ever since. At Dungeness it is now a relatively common and widespread breeding species.
The bird in the middle of this photo is the American sub-species of Black Tern. The dusky flanks and underwing do make it easy to pick out in the company of its European counterparts. This bird was present for over a week on the RSPB reserve.
A modest passage of waders was enjoyed during my weeks stay, with Curlew Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Avocet, Spotted Redshank and Ruff being the stand-outs, although had I seen the brief staying Terek Sandpiper then that would have undoubtably been the highlight. Several Common Sandpipers (above) came close enough to be 'snapped'.
But it is the chats that are my favourites, and none sum up the Dungeness experience better than a Wheatear, here resplendent in the morning light against a backdrop of honeyed shingle.