Lade - 0630hrs - cool, sunny, still, cloudy by late morning, sw 5 - A stunning start to the day with hardly a breath of wind, bright sunshine and plenty of migrants across the local patch. Surprisingly Willow Warblers were more plentiful than Chiffchaffs with 20 and 10 of each respectively in gardens and scrub plus 2 Common Whitethroats, Blackcap and Lesser Whitethroat. By the main track beside south pit 5 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Wheatears and a Whinchat plus a Pied Flycatcher on the fence by the holiday camp. At least 30 Mipits grounded on the storm beaches with a trickle overhead along with several Skylarks, Reed Buntings, Yellow Wagtails, Goldfinches (first of autumn) and a Tree Pipit. A Merlin zipped through and 2 Marsh Harriers hunted behind the `mirrors`. A flock of 10 Pintail were on south lake.
Dengemarsh Gully -1030hrs - News broke of an Ortolan Bunting (203) found by SM, which on arrival was proving to be very elusive. However, for once, I just happened to be standing in the right place when it was relocated by the sluice and had the briefest of views of the bunting on the deck amongst the shingle before it scuttled over a ridge and was lost to sight. A good find and only my second at Dunge in 8 years. There was also plenty of Willow Warblers in the scrub plus Blackcap, Whinchat and 3 Wheatears.
Dengemarsh - 1600hrs - Couldn`t resist a look at the plastic (2 red rings) Marbled Duck from Springfield Bridge, and glad I did as despite its origins they`re always smart birds. A Bittern flew over the reedbed as well as a Marsh Harrier and several flocks of Sand Martins. I called it a day as the wind was approaching gale force and the rain had arrived.
Called in the bird reserve today to see some old birding pals from Bedfordshire. They`d had a great day around the peninsula seeing a wide range of migrants that we tend to take for granted down here.