Lade - 0700hrs - cloudy, mild, dry, se2 - Viz mig from the Ariel mound revealed a few wagtails, Mipts, 2 Siskins and 2 Sparrowhawks over. Plenty of Chiffchaffs in the sallows and another Sparrowhawk on the walk back to the car. Nothing much in the moth trap apart from a few Silver Y`s.
Dungeness - 0830hrs - An hour long seawatch from the boats delivered several Arctic and one Great Skua offshore, plus 30 Common Scoters and a steady flow of terns and Gannets. A few more Grey Wagtails over and another Sparrowhawk. The sea delivered some substantial bamboo poles, much to Gullman`s delight.
RSPB 1430hrs - Went for a **** Phalacrocorax aristotelis at the Visitor Centre (if you catch my drift...). Anyhow, managed to dip the Slender-billed Cormorant that apparently was lurching around close to death in front of Sand Martin Towers half an hour before I arrived. I was told that the storm-blown rarity had made a rapid recovery and was seen to fly off strongly to the north. That meant that the Joker was now one ahead of me (225 species) on our `friendly` year list competition, most of which have been seen on the Marsh, and all in Kent. However, with both of us out of action for a few weeks in late autumn things could chop and change a bit. We`ve also decided that if its a draw by 31st December then the fairest way to decide the ultimate victor is by the Duckworth-Lewis method!
I frantically checked around Burrowes to try and claw level but could find no further sign of the ****; although I did see a rather spectacular barn fire over Lydd way and several more Sparrowhawks from Dennis`s mound.
At Boulderwall the Cattle Egret stuck its head up briefly and all 3 chats were noted. Across the road the usual crop of waders (including Little Stint) and terns were on ARC. Spoonbill and Great White Egret were reported from Dengemarsh and the Glaucous Gull from the Point. There was no further news on the Long-tailed Skua.
Finished off at the Kerton Road Cafe with the spectacle of hundreds of Swallows and Sand Martins hawking low over the storm beaches and along the foreshore. Sparrowhawk was probably bird of the day with upwards of 20 noted across the Peninsula.