Dungeness - 0630-0845hrs - Cold, sunny, se 3 - A bright start to the day that gradually clouded over with a showery afternoon. Joined TG & MB in the seawatch hide for the first hour and a bit where, in between chin-wagging, we noted a steady flow of Red-throated Divers, Gannets, Kittiwakes, auks, Common Scoters, 100 Brents, 10 Wigeon, 2 Little Gulls, 3 Curlews and 2 Fulmars moving up- Channel, plus a Med Gull going east. Spent another hour checking around the land for migrants without much success apart from 20 Pied Wagtails, 10 Mipits, 5 Skylarks and 2 Linnets, plus what I assume was the same brown Merlin that`s been knocking around all week by the fishing cabins.
ARC/New Diggings - A brief check from the causeway road revealed singles of Goldeneye, Smew and Great White Egret, plus all the usual Shoveler, Gadwall and Teal at the south end of ARC.
RSPB - 1400hrs - A circuit of the bird reserve this afternoon yielded all the regular ducks on the pits including 6 Smew on ARC and 3 on Burrowes (I wonder why you never seem to see them on Dengemarsh?) and up to 10 Goldeneyes (the 3rd winter Glaucous Gull was also noted on Burrowes this morning). The hayfields were full of Wigeon, Teal and Shelduck, plus waders such as Ringed Plover, Redshank, Dunlin and Lapwings and a Raven over. From the ramp, Bittern and Marsh Harriers seen, Cetti`s Warbler and Bearded Tits heard. On the fields plenty of Curlews, Wigeon, corvids, feral geese and Stock Doves. Finished off over the road where the duck RCP was on Tower Pits. At Screen hide had a truncated conversation with a bloke that went something like this:
" Hello, much about?", said I.
"Yep, got a Slavonian Grebe", said he.
"Nice one", said I, "where?"
"Over by the seagull", said he.
"Mmm", said I, "anywhere near the redhead Smew?"
Exit Seagull Man!
Oh well, it takes all sorts and he went home happy that he`d seen a Slav Grebe...