Lade - 0900hrs - mild, cloudy, sw 5 - I realised this morning that as we moved down here on 6th January 2006 that today marks the start of our ninth year on the Marsh, by no means a significant milestone but I can`t believe how quickly it has passed. However, as we battled into the wind across the shingle I wasn't expecting much on the pits apart from the usual wildfowl, so was surprised to see a 2nd winter Little Gull beating its way towards the roosting Black-heads on south lake. Also present was a Great White Egret, a bird that eight years ago would`ve have resulted in something of a local twitch, but today barely raises an eyebrow - surely they must breed locally this spring...
RSPB - 1400hrs - Spent the afternoon on the bird reserve with MH where at the south end we noted a redhead Smew amongst the ducks and coots. From Hanson two more Smew close to the hide plus three Goldeneye within the wildfowl, plus Great White Egret, Marsh Harrier, 75 Curlews over and a Greater pecker in the willows.
On Burrowes wildfowl numbers seem to have taken a tumble of late. However, at Firth hide we were joined by PB where three female Goosanders showed well in fading light, along with two more Smew that flew in just before dusk. A couple of Chiffchaffs called in the scrub and corvids began drifting towards roosts at the Oppen Pits. Just as we were about to pack up, at 1605 hrs the Glossy Ibis flew past the hide heading towards the willow scrub in front of Makepiece hide, a fitting end to a fine afternoons birding.
NB: The Black-throated Diver remained on New Diggings (PBe) and a Nuthatch (rare down here) was reported on a garden bird feeder at Littlestone.