Lade - 0800hrs - mild, sunny, sw 3 - Duck numbers continue to decline as spring approaches with a pair of Goldeneye and the Slavonian Grebe on north lake. Several Marsh Harriers were enjoying the sunshine and we had good views of a Water Rail by the causeway.
Rye Harbour - Had a run out with MH this morning for a very enjoyable wader watching session at Rye. Looking out from the John Gooder`s hide was a wondrous sight with waders everywhere. The numbers were made up of several hundred Dunlin along with 50 Sanderling, 50 Grey Plover, 30 Avocet, 30 Redshank and lesser numbers of Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Turnstone, two each of Golden Plover and Ruff, plus a Spotted Redshank. Wildfowl included 50 Shelduck and eight Pintail amongst the commoner species, along with three Little Egrets and singing Skylarks.
The hides overlooking Ternery Pool yielded up to 1,000 Golden Plover, 500 Lapwing, six Curlew, four Snipe, six Dabchick and eight Mediterranean Gulls before the whole lot was flushed by a Sparrowhawk. From Denny hide we had the Med Gulls again and another host of waders including a Ruff. A cracking mornings` birding in superb weather conditions during which we rattled up 14 species of waders with ease at this premier wetland site.
Myself and MH would like to thank Barry Yates for arranging vehicular access to the hides, it was very much appreciated.
Scotney - On the way back from Rye a Merlin flew across the ranges near Jury`s Gap, but from the double bends there was very little to be seen across the gravel pit lake and on the grass.
Following a tip off from SB we eventually located the Glossy Ibis probing about in a muddy horse paddock field by the road looking longingly at its caged pals inside...
Scanning the fields at Boulderwall a pair of Peregrines were spooking the Lapwings and Wigeon and from Cockles Bridge we watched a Common Buzzard hunting worms on the paddocks.
Dengemarsh - 1400hrs - We parked up at Boulderwall and walked down to the ramp overlooking Hookers where the two Penduline Tits were tearing apart bulrush heads in the reed bed. They gave pretty good scope views before melting back into the willow scrub. Also noted three Bearded Tits, Cetti`s Warbler, three Marsh Harriers and a Common Buzzard. In the fields behind, the usual feral geese, Shelducks, Wigeon and gulls.
On the way out the two Black-throated Divers were still on New Diggings and a Great White Egret on ARC.
At Dungeness this morning the Hume`s Leaf Warbler was reported from the trapping area and the 1st winter Glaucous Gull from the fishing boats.
In summary another tidy days birding locally with highlight being the waders at Rye.