Lade 0800hrs - warm, dry and sunny, ne 3 - A misty start to the day with an invigorating north-easterly coming in off the bay, warming up by mid-morning. We had a thorough check round the local patch, but there were few migrants on show apart from a scattering of Common Whitethroats, Willow, Sedge and Reed Warblers, plus a Whinchat on the Desert. A few Yellow Wagtails passed overhead while 50 Sand and House Martins were over north lake. On south lake the first six Wigeon of the season were noted, along with a Kingfisher and Sparrowhawk.
ARC - From the south end two Blackwits, Ruff, three Egyptain Geese and a Pintail, while the Glossy Ibis flew over the causeway road and landed on distant islands, closest to Screen hide.
With most of the islands in front of Hanson now submerged there was little wader habitat although a distant Spotted Redshank was present on the far shore, plus a few Common Sands, Dunlins and Snipe. The usual Lapwings and dabbling ducks were present and the Black-necked Grebe was in front of the hide. A large party of Sand Martins moved through and a Marsh Harrier drifted over flushing one and all.
Lade - With a short tide this afternoon we went for a stroll along the foreshore to check out the small shorebirds which almost always linger at Greatstone Beach `til last knockings. The increasing onshore wind kept the last of the seasons` holidaymakers at bay and a flock of around 100 sandpipers comprised mainly Dunlin, along with a handful each of Sanderling, Turnstone, Ringed Plover and a Barwit. Smart birds are waders, my favourites infact, and a real privilege to see them at such close range. As high tide approached two Arctic Skuas came in off the sea and chased off the beached Sandwich Terns of which at least 150 were counted as they headed towards Dungeness calling raucously. By the time we got back to the boardwalk a large Grey Seal was just offshore, hunting flatfish no doubt.