While doing a bit of idle websurfing on Sunday night, I found that there had been three Vagrant Emperor dragonflies at Dungeness that day. I hadn't really expected our 2011 dragonfly quest to begin with a species I'd never even heard of, but it seemed silly not to plan a trip there for Monday. We didn't make a very early start, but got to the spot at Dengemarsh at 11.30ish. A despondent crowd of would-be dragon-twitchers was present - the dragons were not.
Many of the dragon-twitchers had drifted away by this point. Rob was sitting on the riverbank. I was just setting off to join him when we noticed a group of people further down the river break into a sprint, away from us. Looking back, we saw that the remaining people on the bridge were also starting to hurry towards us.
A hot and breathless run later, we were all enjoying views of a male Vagrant Emperor, chasing away down the river. We'd stop at a bend, watch him disappear, then run round the bend for another quick view of his retreating behind. Finally he turned back towards us.
Rob noticed a parked car with a very flat tyre on our way back to our car, and when he saw the owner get into the car and set off towards us, he waylaid her and ended up changing her wheel, for which she was most grateful. Then we went on to the nature reserve proper.
These two Common Gulls were chilling out on the visitor centre roof, until a Carrion Crow came along and would have landed on top of one of them had it not hastily tumbled off the roof.
We had a celebratory late lunch at the Pilot, and a desultory look around for the Glaucous Gull which is apparently still on the beach (this is the same bird that we dipped on the bird race back in January). No sign, so we opted to spend the last hour of good light down the road at Rye Harbour. Not very much there that I didn't show you last time we went, but I'll end with this plunge-diving Sandwich Tern, making the most of the end of a beautiful day.