Lade - Dungeness - Lade - 1000hrs - Mild, misty, w 2 - This morning Mrs PT decided that what we needed was, "a jolly good walk" to try and shed some of the lard piled on over the holiday season. As we like to keep the vehicles static for at least one day a week then the walk really should start and finish at Plovers. So in gloomy, mizzly conditions we walked to Dungeness and back, a stroll of around 6 miles; Barney just loves this walk and was in his element, also the weather was perfect.
The first section along the beach was, apart from a few gulls and crows, virtually birdless and as we rounded the Dustbin, just past the lifeboat station, a dozen bait diggers emerged from the mist busily pumping black lug from the sands at low tide. By the fishing boats the 3rd winter Glaucous Gull was on station bullying the Black-backs while an adult Yellow-legged Gull lurked amongst a Herring Gull flock. A seawatch was pointless due to thick fog. We saw no small birds until the Light Railway Cafe (hot chocolate and a kit-kat) where a few Starlings, Dunnocks and Greenfinches were noted.
On the return leg we skirted the Trapping Area which resembled a scene from Lord of the Rings, when Frodo, Sam and Gollum cross the Marshes, such was the extent of flood water. A Little Egret waded in a pool and apart from a few Magpies, Kestrel and Green Woodpecker that was about it birdwise. Crossing Kerton Road we walked beside the working gravel pit where a large group of gulls contained a 3rd winter Caspian Gull and 2 Kittiwakes, plus a few Coot and Tufted Ducks on the water.
Returned home knackered and having probably the smallest return on species of birds ever seen during a 6 mile hike.