Dungeness - 0900hrs - cold, sunshine/showers, n 3 - Spent some time at the Patch checking the gulls but couldn't find anything unusual with up to 1,000 Black-headed Gulls making up the bulk of birds over the boil and on the beach. Offshore at least 200 scoters on Rye Bay and a few distant Gannets, plus singles of Black Redstart and Pied Wagtail in the power station compound and 10 Goldfinch over.
Whilst at the Patch a call from PB told of a Black Kite flying towards the switch station. The gulls were quickly forgotten as we hot-footed (no running, just fast walking...) along the sea wall towards Penn Bars where the kite appeared from behind the station, heading towards the Army ranges.
The views were poor and I thought that was going to be it so we walked down the side of B station to re-position ourselves to look beyond the switch station when Barney flushed a Ring Ouzel beside the fence! Twenty minutes later and the kite reappeared affording much better `scope views as it flew slowly back towards the bird reserve where it was seen at close range by PB (check ploddingbirder.blogspot.co.uk for pics later), SB and MH from the car park at ARC. Also noted whilst waiting for the kite: 5 Marsh Harrier, 2 Raven, Common Buzzard and Merlin.
North Lade - 1200hrs - Checked out the fields around the airport where there was a huge flock of Golden Plover and Lapwing over a thousand strong, plus 50 Dunlin and 20 Redshank. From Greatstone School, overlooking Romney Salts, I had further distant views of the kite perched on a straw stack before it was eventually disturbed by a group of crows and headed off towards Belgar Farm.
This individual has been seen across the Marsh for a week or more now and is most distinctive as it has battered/moulting tail feathers.
Folkestone - Living on the wilds of Romney Marsh means that normally you have to travel to see a decent band, but not tonight as one our favs the English folk rockers Bellowhead finished their UK tour at the Leas Cliff Hall. A brilliant gig and as always very visual, what with the 11 band members playing just about every known musical instrument. All the expected blend of old and new folk tunes were there, with a typical Bellowhead spin, a great show.