Lade - 0900hrs - mild, light airs, sunny - At last a break in the weather; infact it was quite eerie with no wind this morning, although it did pick up throughout the afternoon heralding, no doubt, another dollop of rain some time this evening. Anyhow, it was a treat to be out and about around the local patch and even Mrs PT joined in the fun. Along the foreshore six species of waders noted and a distant flock of 20 Common Scoters on the sea. The pits were full of wildfowl with hundreds of Gadwall and Coot making up the bulk numbers, plus three Goldeneye and a female Red-crested Pochard on south lake. Best bird though was a Bittern that flew from the causeway reedbed over towards the `mirrors`, closely followed by a Raven. The buddleia bushes attracted a largish passerine flock containing 15 Long-tailed Tits and a Chiffchaff amongst numerous Great and Blue Tits. Also noted around the site three Marsh Harriers, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, 500 Goldies/Lapwing, Green Woodpecker and a pair of Stonechats.
Littlestone - After a quick cuppa and a biscuit at home it was off to the golf links to look for the Short-eared Owl reported by MH & CP. Almost immediately an owl showed by the green roofed barn quartering the fairways and taking no notice of the nearby golfers. There may have been a second bird as when one went onto the deck another appeared well away towards St Mary`s Bay. A Stonechat was also noted in the bushes, plus 10 Linnets (rare here in the winter) and two Mipits. On the foreshore 15 Grey Plovers, 100 Sanderlings and 50 Dunlins attempting to roost on the shingle, despite being hassled by two dogs.
Dungeness - My third attempt at actually seeing the Hume`s Leaf Warbler proved successful with a couple of brief views of it moving low down amongst the base of the willow scrub. It appeared to be on its own and at no time did it call. A passerine flock nearby comprised Blue and Great Tits and two Chiffchaffs.
New Diggings - After a couple of attempts I eventually located the two Black-throated Divers at the southern end, but they were very difficult as, believe it or not, they kept diving - how inconsiderate! Also from the causeway road several Great White Egrets, two Goldeneye, 200 Gadwall, plus Sparrowhawk and Marsh Harrier over.
In all a great days birding around the peninsula, mainly due to the calm weather. Also reported today was the Glossy Ibis at Boulderwall and a Great Northern Diver at Scotney (PB).