Dungeness - cold, cloudy, rain, se 3 - 0630hrs - A 90 minute seawatch in poor light with rain delivered a steady trickle of mainly ducks, plus my first Common Terns (151) of the year and went something like: Red-throated Diver 15, Fulmar 1, Gannet 30, Common Scoter 50, Merganser 2, Pintail 2, Shoveler 30, Teal 10, Gadwall 8, Mallard 6, Dunlin 25, Oystercatcher 5, Sandwich Tern 10 and Common Tern 6.
Bird Watching Break - Picked up Ray and Stuart from Ashford for a three day stay at Plovers.
We had a quick look in Orlestone Forest around the car park area for woodland birds which delivered Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tit and Jay among the commoner tits, thrushes and finches. Crossing Walland we had Redwings and Fieldfares at Warehorne, plus all three buntings at the Tickners Lane seed dump.
Dungeness - 1500hrs - An hours seawatch from the fishing boats deliverd a steady passage of birds up-Channel including, 120 Brents, 55 Common Scoters, 9 Little Gulls, 6 Common Terns, 20 Sandwich Terns, 2 Mergansers, 20 Red-throated Divers and 50 Gannets, with scores more of the latter two species feeding offshore alongside the usual Great Crested Grebes, Cormorants, gulls and at least 6 porpoises. On the way out we stopped opposite Jarman`s and noted 4 Wheatears (including a singing male), 2 Skylarks and a Linnet.
ARC/Tower Pits - From the causeway road 12 Smew, 2 Goldeneyes, Shovelers, Teal, Gadwalls, 2 Snipe, 6 Mipits and a Little Egret. On the walk down to Screen hide a pair of Garganey and a singing Sedge Warbler pushed the Marsh year list up to 153, while other migrants included singing Chiffchaff, 2 Swallows and a Yellow Wagtail over. At least 3 Cetti`s were singing while a party of Bearded Tits `pinged` and showed briefly in front of the hide. At the pines Goldcrest, a fox basking in the sun and a Great White Egret over.
A decent start to the birdwatching break with year ticks all round and 81 species logged.