Dungeness - 0730hrs - Very cold, overcast, snow showers, ne 7 - Ordinarily I wouldn't rush to go out on such a foul morning but had to go to NR at 0700hrs so decided to have a quick look at the sea on the way round. And boy was it a quick look! Only lasted 30 minutes in the hide and whilst fumbling with the padlock on the seawatch hide I had a Ranulph Fiennes moment as the gloves came off...Visibility wasn't that great either, what with the snow flurries. Apart from the usual auks, gulls and grebes the only movement as such was a party of 15 Brents and 2 each of Dunlin and Common Scoter east, plus Fulmar and Med Gull going the other way. In the grass at the base of the power station wall 2 Mipits and singles of Pied Wagtail and Black Redstart were attempting to find food and shelter from the blasting easterly tempest.
It never ceases to amaze me how some people just don't think things through. Today is wheelie bin collection day and you would have thought with a raging gale force wind scouring the peninsula (not an unprecedented weather phenomenon down here) that the locals would`ve taken the relevant precautions. But no, as I drove off the estate, dodging the toppled plastic monoliths, all manner of rubbish was strewn across the road and blowing over the shingle. The regular litter-pickers do a fantastic job down here (mostly clearing up after the beach fisherman) and could well do without more unnecessary rubbish to deal with.
Lade - Hard work here with nearly all the ducks clustered in the calmer waters around the willows; even the Goldeneyes had taken refuge. The only other noteworthy was a Great White Egret in the same area; and what with PB reporting 8 at ARC, that makes at least 9 birds currently in the area.
The poor weather dominated proceedings, so spent most of the day camped in front of the fire with the laptop and set about some long overdue articles.
Slogged across the snowfields this afternoon (more to give the mutt a walk than anything else) to have another look at the pits, and got caught in a blizzard on the way back! Barney doesn't seem to be bothered by the cold, gambolling about in the snow and having a great time