Lade - 0830hrs - dry, sunny, nw 2 - Spent the morning mooching around the environs of our dog-friendly local patch in glorious spring sunshine; as it`s the 1st March, for me winter is officially over, no sense in waiting for the equinox... However, we worked Mockmill Sewer where Barney flushed a couple of Snipe; also noted singing Reed Bunting, two Stonechats, a Cetti`s Warbler, several Blackbirds and Song Thrushes and two Marsh Harriers hunting over towards the airfield. The sun trap along the caravan park fence line offered up a second Black Redstart in as many days, plus Great Tits, Dunnocks and a Chiffchaff. On the still waters the usual wildfowl, Great Crested and Little Grebes, Cormorants, two Goldeneyes and the Slavonian Grebe on north lake that at last came close enough for a few pictures, albeit of the heavily cropped variety commonly seen on this blog. There was even a few birders on site, no doubt attracted to the grebe.
We completed the circular walk back along the foreshore checking for tideline corpses as a Gannet had been washed up yesterday, but all I could find was one long dead, badly oiled auk. A small roost of shorebirds comprised mainly Oystercatcher, Barwit and Sanderling, plus a few Knot, Grey Plover and Turnstone. To finish on a spring theme a Small Tortoiseshell flew along the beach and several Sea Kale plants were already sprouting from the shingle ridges.