Lade 0800hrs - dull, wet start, but in the words of Nick Drake, "Bryter Layter", and what a cracking day it turned out to be... Nothing of any real quality on the local patch but stacks of common wildfowl on both lakes, 100 Curlews, 200 Lapwings, 6 Barwits and 50 Goldies over. Two Marsh Harriers, Raven and Sparrowhawk over the airfield while an hours viz mig from the aireal mound produced a stream of at least 500 Goldfinches, plus a supporting cast of Redpolls, Siskins, Chaffinches, Skylarks and Blackbirds; infact the latter species was everywhere, there must have been 100 plus in the willows and scrub around the site.
ARC - 1200hrs - Nailed, and year ticked, the juv Long-tailed Duck from Hanson, where also juv Scaup, 12 Goldeneyes, 500 Lapwings, 200 Wigeon, 100 Teal, 50 Shovelers, 6 Little Egrets and 2 Kingfishers. From the Willow Trail, Chiffchaff, Cetti`s Warbler, Woodcock, Water Rail and a flock of Lottis.
Nickoll`s Quarry - 1415hrs - Picked up MH and headed out for a couple of hours birding on the eastern flank of the Marsh. Not somewhere I often go, but wow! did we hit the jackpot this afternoon. Joined a group of local birders gathered by the sewage works entrance and soon got onto a distant buzzard. It eventually banked and showed a nice black and white tail band, thus confirming its credentials. The juv Rough-legged Buzzard then put on a superb display over the old quarry site where it sat on a bund, hovered a bit and generally showed off before disappearing behind a clump of trees. While this was going on 2 Whooper Swans flew over and headed down the coast and news came through of 2 Short-eared Owls at Littlestone!
Littlestone Golf Course - 1530hrs Sure enough the 2 Shorties were soon located quartering rough ground in the middle of the golf course, being harrassed by a gang of crows,
Also reported around the Marsh today were Snow Buntings at the Point, the long staying Glaucous Gull and Great White Egret at Dungeness, while the Dotteral was relocated within a Golden Plover flock at Brookland.