Littlestone - 0900hrs - cold, grey, nw3, brighter later and milder - A cracking winter`s day birding around the Marsh with plenty of good birds and one or two surprises. We kicked of at low tide for shorebirds at Littlestone and nailed 9 out of 10 of the regulars with only Knot proving elusive; decent numbers of both Barwits and Grey Plovers with around 50 of each. A flyover Skylark was noteworthy here, as was a raft of 300 Common Scoters and 500 Great Crested Grebes offshore.
RSPB - 1015hrs - Superb session on the bird reserve with good numbers of sawbills and dabbling ducks; best count I could come up with was 25 Smews and 17 Goosanders across all waters and literally thousands of Wigeons on ARC and Burrowes. From Hanson jammed a 5 minute Glossy Ibis that flew in and landed briefly on one of the islands before leaving high to the east. Also, the wintering Long-tailed Duck and Bittern from Dennis`s hide; Great White Egret, 2 Ravens, Snipe, Christmas Dell; Blackwit, 4 Marsh Harriers and 8 Dabchicks, Dengemarsh; 6 Ruddy Ducks, New Diggings; Pintails, Long-tailed Tits, Cettis`s Warblers, Sparrowhawk and Chiffchaffs, ARC; Tree Sparrows and Stonechat, Boulderwall; Reed Buntings, car park feeders.
Lydd Wood - 1500hrs Single Woodcock.
Galloways - 1530hrs Black Redstart on the chicken sheds.
Scotney - 1600hrs - Thousands of wildfowl here, mainly Wigeons and feral geese, including 15 Pintails, 30 White-fronts, 12 Brents and an assortment of Barnacles and hybrid Snow/Emperor types.
We finished with 8 Marsh Harriers flying into the ranges to roost.
In summary: surprise of the day was undoubtedly the Ibis but bird of the day, simply due to the sheer numbers, had to be Wigeon.