Dengemarsh Gully - 0930hrs - warm, dry, sunny, ne 2 - Picked Barney up from our friend in Lydd where he`d spent a weekend of R&R, so decided on his favourite walk this morning in an effort to make amends to the old boy. We parked up at Springfield Bridge where several Marsh Harriers were quartering the reedbed, plus six Shelducks and a Great White Egret in the hay field. The gully was quiet to start with, walking into the sun, with only a couple of singing Reed Buntings and a Linnet to break the monotony. Then a Kestrel flew down the sewer flushing a pair of Teal and a Black Redstart and Stonechat sat atop the gorse. A Raven flew over calling, a Mipit displayed by the car park and a Ringed Plover flew out across the shingle. Walking back by the pump my first Firecrest of the season showed well in the shelter of the gully feeding low down in gorse; as always a cracking little migrant and one of my favourite British birds. Another Black Redstart was noted nearby, along with a singing Chiffchaff, while a small party of alba wagtails moved east along the coast. So, all in all a decent little session of classic March migrants.
On the way home a single Black-throated Diver was still on New Diggings where it spent most of its time roll-preening.
RSPB - 1400hrs - Had a run out with the Joker this afternoon. First stop the gully where we `twitched` this mornings Firecrest, which again showed well in the bright afternoon sunshine. On Burrowes nine Goldeneyes but little else. After a natter in the VC we went over the road to the Screen hide where the usual wildfowl on the lake included another five Goldeneye, but there was no sign of any Smew.