Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Rye Harbour (again), October 2

Now for the Sunday post. I was off to my dad's for a couple of days, so we drove down via Rye Harbour, which is not exactly on the way but nearby. The original plan had been to go to Pett Pools, but because it was another absolute scorcher of a day, I figured the place would be full of beach-goers, who wouldn't necessarily appreciate having an 800mm lens pointed in their general direction. So Rye it was. We went to the Bittern viewpoint first, noted that the light was all wrong, and moved on to the beach reserve. We only got as far as the Steve Denny hide, and were there til pretty much dusk.

The sun was shining beguilingly onto the Little Grebe family, three of which were snuggled up together asleep when we arrived. They woke up after a while and swam about in a fairly relaxed manner.

One of the three Brents has departed since Friday. The two that remained were doing much the same thing as they had been on Friday, swimming lazily about and getting their frontages very wet as they dipped and upended, gradually drifting closer to the hide.

I heard the squeaky-gate call of this Sandwich Tern coming from behind us. It flew over, the wrong way for pictures, but then decided to come back again.

Gulls on the move. Most of these are subadult Great Black-backs.

This Carrion Crow, like yesterday's Common Buzzard, was panting in the heat, poor thing.

Gradually, the growing shadow of the hide took away the sunlight on the water in front of us. One of the Little Grebes chose this time to come and fish right in front of us. It looked at us askance when it heard a shutter click, but was otherwise quite relaxed.

When light levels had reduced us to shutter speeds of 1/200th or less, it was time to go back. I took a photo of the sunset on the way - this gives a clearer picture of how dark it was than the next two photos do.

A few gulls were floating overhead, then Rob picked up a couple of bigger birds. As they came closer, it became clear that they were Common Cranes. I did my best to get some steady shots at woefully slow shutter speeds as the stately pair beat their way through the evening gloom, heading due south.

A great way to end the day, and as far as I know these were not previously 'noted' individuals.

Actually, even that wasn't quite the end. As we walked through the caravan park, a raptor flapped by. I took some photos, just for a laugh, of what looks like a very well-fed Sparrowhawk.

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