Dengemarsh - 1330hrs - warm, dry, sunny, e 3 - Having spent most of the morning sorting out the B&B`ers it was good to get out and about this afternoon in the bright sunshine. A stroll round Dengemarsh is one of me favourites, and as its on a public footpath it enables my side kick to tag along. The Glossy Ibis was again dodging between the Hayfields, while a drake Garganey showed signs of moulting into eclipse (how soon spring is over) plumage. A couple of Ringed Plovers were amongst the numerous Shelducks and Little Egrets, while a juv Raven flew over and got the full treatment from a Carrion Crow.
Around the marsh Bearded Tits seemed to be everywhere and they must have had one of their best breeding seasons ever. Plenty of Reed, Sedge and Cetti`s Warblers were seen and heard, including fledglings. We settled down on the viewing ramp for an hour and enjoyed superb flight views of at least six Hobbies hunting over the reedbed, several Marsh Harriers came and went, as did Cuckoo and loads of Common Terns heading back to the rafts in front of the hide. By the small pond near the Corral I watched a Bittern hunting Marsh Frogs which eventually flew off towards ARC with its crop bulging as if stuffed with a football!
Fair play to RSPB as this part of the bird reserve is packed with activity and it looks as though its going to be a bumper breeding season for many species. The only downbeat note is that once again it looks as though the Lapwings have struggled against predators.
Later on I watched a couple of old WW2 planes buzz over the peninsula (probably practising for tomorrows Folkestone Air Show) and it got me musing on the D Day commemorations taking place over in Normandy. How fortunate us post-war baby boomers are in having never been called to arms and had to endure the horrors some of them fellas witnessed on that momentous day in history 70 years ago. Sitting in the sun overlooking a peaceful bird reserve it made me realise how much we have to be thankful for...