Lade - 0600hrs - mild, sunny, light airs `til mid-morning then heavy showers and w 5 `til noon - A cracking start to the day with light winds and bright sunshine affording ideal birding conditions. We walked the local patch where a Stonechat on the Desert was the first of the autumn. A goodly number of Willow and Sedge Warblers around the ponds kept the interest going while south lake was plastered with wildfowl; Great Crested and Little Grebes, Coots and Tufted Ducks all showed off recently hatched juvs on the water and a crèche of Shelducks had moved onto north lake. Behind the `mirrors` a steady passage of Lapwings headed for the bird reserve and both Marsh Harrier and Kestrel were already hunting the rough grassland. Along the main track by south lake we counted over 50 Common Blues on the wing. Looping back along the beach a mixed flock of 20 Ringed Plovers, 10 Dunlin and two Sanderling allowed a close approach.
Back at Plovers several Willow Warblers filtered through the garden fir trees, while the moth trap held a paltry 12 species with Orange Swift and Straw Underwing new for the year.
ARC - Around the lake hundreds of Lapwings and single figures of Golden Plover, Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin and Redshank, plus Garganey and Wigeon amongst the dabblers.
Scotney - The post-breeding flock of feral geese was well over 1,000 on the sheep fields, plus a few Curlews, Lapwings and Redshanks.
Dungeness - 1415hrs - Joined PB for an hour at the fishing boats this aft during which time all we could muster up was a flock of five Common Scoters and a few distant Commic Terns.
However, every so often an odd long-shore drift type phenomenon occurs down here, usually following rough seas and high tides as witnessed last weekend, when a `finger lake` floods just inland from the main seaward shingle bank. It cried out for a nice phalarope `spinning` around in the still water but we had to be content with a few Turnstones on the margins. Apparently, the salt water lake warms up nicely and makes for good swimming, so tomorrow I must remember to wear me cozzie.