Having seen all the wonderful photos of the male smew at Dungeness RSPB I thought I would take a look myself. First stop was at the ARC hide where all birds were miles away, only a male and female goldeneye ventured close to the hide but still a long way away and a distant GWE. A little later Martin Casemore came into the hide (the only other person) and we discussed how the birdworld should be put to rights as there appeared to be nothing of interest out on the pit!
Soon it was time to go to the Scott Hide as it was midday and almost straight away smew were on the menu including the beautiful male. I met photographers Bob Eades and Pete Varnham who had already filled their boots as the male had come right up close to the hide late morning. There appeared to be a shoal of perch in front of the hide and all day coots and smew were busy catching the fish although I didn't manage to get a decent shot of a smew with a fish in its bill myself (wrong light).
The male was very edgy when approaching the hide, it clearly new we were there, (a few noisy birders) but if we sat quietly he would swim in and get his fish and we got our photos.
When disturbed, the male would swim away looking back over his shoulder
For one nano second a kingfisher landed on a post on the righthand side of the hide, only Bob saw it and got one quick shot, I just managed to get a record shot it as it flew of again.
I loved the Mohican crest!
On route home I called in at Scotney Pits noting the big flock of barnacle geese I didn't stop as parking looking awkward plus I was cold and I'd had enough!