Dungeness - 0845hrs - mild, cloudy/sunshine, sw 4 - A breezy start to the day and the first time for ages that a taste of the Atlantic could be felt slapping the face and covering optics with salt spray. Predictably the seawatching was lousy with just a trickle of Brents, scoters and divers on the move and Fulmars and terns milling both ways. We used the new Patch hide for once where the melee of gulls over the boil included several Kittiwakes, Sandwich and Common Terns and best of all a cracking pink-breasted adult Little Gull.
As the morning progressed the sun came out to play and so too the recalcitrant migrants that had been lurking in cover. We worked the scrub around the old light and down to the moat and back again which delivered a tidy return on warblers and thrushes. Most numerous were Blackbirds, closely followed by Robins, most of which were probably continental birds as they appeared greyer than `our` race and more furtive. Difficult to judge accurately but we probably had something like: 2 Swallows, 10 Mipits, 4 Pied Wags, 20 Robins, 4 Black Reds, 4 Wheatears, 1 Ring Ouzel (moat), 50 Blackbirds, 2 Fieldfares, 12 Redwings, 10 Song Thrushes, 1 Whitethroat (1st for the year, 158), 2 Blackcaps, 10 Chiffs, 10 Willow Warblers, 10 Goldcrests, 1 Firecrest (moat) and 6 Linnets.
We finished off at the fishing boats where amongst the gulls was a smart 1st winter Med Gull and the long staying 3rd winter Glaucous Gull.
Ray and Stuart ended up with a 3 day list of 112 species complete with a decent spread of migrants and lingering winter visitors. They both agreed though that the highlight was the Brent Goose passage, which is of course, in my humble opinion, one of the wildlife spectacles of the spring at Dungeness.
ARC - A late afternoon sortie with Barney from Screen hide delivered the usual Smews and Goldeneyes on the water, plus a Water Rail and singing Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff in the scrub. On New Diggings 3 Great White and 2 Little Egrets.