Thursday, 28 March 2019

Rye Harbour

A good few hours spent at Rye Harbour with Gareth were full of good birds. We spent most of the time from the viewpoint at Castle Water, where a Bittern was booming at regular intervals but refused to show itself. A Bearded Tit briefly called but also remained unseen, while a pair of Marsh Harriers kept us entertained for much of the day. Other raptors included a pair of Peregrines, a Sparrowhawk and a Buzzard. Spring migrants were few and far between, with just a single Sand Martin, a Blackcap and a couple of Chiffchaffs.

To break up the Bittern stakeout we took a stroll over to the hide at the other end of Castle Water, and on our return we clocked a smart drake Ring-necked Duck in the company of a few Tufted Ducks and Pochards. There had been a report of a probable here yesterday but we hadn't thought too much about it as our main quarry was Bittern and Bearded Tit, though it certainly was a welcome bonus to our day's birding!

drake Ring-necked Duck on Castle Water

A Great White Egret, two Egyptian Geese, weed-dancing Great Crested Grebes, mating Oystercatchers, two Water Rails, a Kingfisher, a few Cetti's Warblers and Reed Buntings, a Snipe and a couple of Curlews were among our other observations. I counted 23 'sitting' Cormorants and one poor female Gadwall was hounded by 10 drakes.