Great White Egret
Next stop was the ARC pit. While everyone else headed for the dry hide or screen I felt a bit mad and decided to walk down the main road to have a look over the New Diggings (which are probably quite old now). It turned out to be a good idea for as soon as I scanned over the water I picked out the 2 Black-Throated Diver swimming close together and just behind them was a female Goosander. Happy with that I went back to the ARC and plonked myself down in the screen hide. Just before I arrived 2 Great White Egret had flown in but only one was on view along with a Little Egret. At the far south end I noted 2 more Great White's but I could not find anymore of the 7 reported the day before. My first male Goldeneye of the year was the only other bird of note. It was then time to leave but I had another moment of madness and decided to walk up the entrance track rather than try to remove wet clothing to get on the coach only to have to put it back on again in a few minutes. I scanned the garden of the farm for Tree Sparrow but only found a Great Tit and on my walk I noted a flock of around 40 Curlew and a female Marsh Harrier that looked rather sorry for itself in the rain. The rest of the reserve was a blur of wind and stinging the face horizontal rain but from the different hides I had cracking views of two female Smew and my first Teal of the year while out on Denge Marsh a single Shelduck looked out of place and a fly over Turnstone. But just as the weather forecast had predicted no sooner as I sat on the coach out popped the sun! 15 year ticks in all taking the tally to 89 for the year. Bloody rain!