Mild, cloudy, drizzle, w 2 - Another gloomy sort of a day weather wise, but what a terrific days birding; it seemed that wherever we went the birds went too; maybe I`ll do the lottery tonight - for the first time! Crossing the causeway road stopped by the gate for a scan and 4 Goldenyes and 6 Smews on New Diggings, including a `white nun`. ARC was packed out with common wildfowl plus 3 Great White Egrets, 2 Little Egrets and Grey Heron. A Peregrine powered over causing mayhem and a few passerines were seen including 2 Mipits, Reed Bunting, Song Thrush and Goldcrest.
Walland Marsh - A stop opposite the flying club field yielded 65 Bewick`s Swans amongst the Mutes and protracted views of the `grey ghost` Hen Harrier which at times sat in the field surveying the scene, and a male Merlin. By now quite a few car loads of birders had stopped to enjoy the show and as we pulled away the 2 wintering Whooper Swans flew in to join the throng. The main body of Bewick`s were feeding on potatoes rotting in flooded furrows. Further down the lane just past the drying barns had brief views of 16 Waxwings drinking from puddles before they flew off towards Old Romney. The feeders and bushes opposite had the usual gang of sparrows and finches.
Marshman joined us for a stroll across the Marsh where we encountered up to 10 Marsh Harriers, Common Buzzard, Kestrel and the Common Crane in a stubble field near the Woolpack. A group of 5 White-fronts was eclipsed by the wader spectacle as thousands of Lapwings and Golden Plovers swirled overhead; numbers are difficult to assess but a figure of 10,000 has been mooted and that`s probably not far off the mark. Whatever the true number it certainly is an incredible sight and in complete contrast to the paucity of small birds, although we did hear Mipit, Reed Bunting and Bearded Tit and see 2 Stonechats, 3 Greater peckers and 10 Fieldfares. Amongst the plovers were at least 50 Snipe, 20 Ruff and a handful of Dunlin.
Scotney - Whilst on the Marsh news came through of a Tundra Goose at Scotney so we soon joined the happy throng on the double bend for difficult views of a sleepy Bean Goose amongst the Grey Lags; to be fair, all I got on it was couple of head on views of the dark head and neck with a small orange patch on the stumpy bill. The Slavonian Grebe was still presnt along with 3 Brents, 12 Pintails, Shelduck and thousands more feral geese, ducks and plovers; infact the place was heaving with birds. We bid farwell to Marshman and strolled down to Scotney farm where I`ve had a few bits and pieces in the past. The farmyard held a couple of Pied Wagtails and no more but further along by the cottage we found 2 Corn Buntings, 2 Skylarks and a Yammer along with 100 Starlings.On the walk back I heard Green Sandpipers calling as 3 flew along the ditch by the conveyor belt.
RSPB - Finished off back at the bird reserve where more Smew, Great White Egrets and all the usual wildfowl noted. It had been another cracking day in the field along with a decent haul of year ticks.
(No photos I`m afraid as for some reason Blogger is not letting me post pics, probably `cause they realise they`re no good!)