Lade - 0730hrs - cold, misty, n 2, sunny later sw 3 - A stunning start to the day with a scattering of grounded migrants in the misty conditions including two each of Whinchat and Wheatear, 10 Reed Buntings, 50 Mipits, three Lesser Whitethroats and 10 Chiffchaffs.
Faggs Wood - 1230hrs - After picking up Sandra, Val, David and Jenny from Ashford station (down for a four day Birdwatching Break) we headed for the woods. As we had our lunch a few tits and common woodland birds were noted around the car park, plus Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Coal Tit and Chiffchaffs. Overhead a large feeding party of hirundines were hawking over the canopy and a Buzzard went through mewing.
Royal Military Canal - Down on the flatlands we worked the area of the canal between Warehorne and Kenardington Bridges, and what a result it turned out to be as there were birds everywhere. Literally thousands of hirundines were feeding over the fields, comprising mostly House Martins, and we noted at least 50 Chiffchaffs in the bushes, plus 10 each of Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap. Also, 10 Song Thrushes and Blackbirds, two Spotted Flycatchers, three Yellowhammers, Bullfinch, Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker. From the Warehorne bridge two Kingfishers, three Buzzards, two Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk, plus five Snipe over at Kenardington.
Midley - Crossing the Marsh Kestrels were everywhere we must`ve seen 20 at least. The feeding station had two Turtle Doves and the usual flock of Tree Sparrows, while near the drying barns two Grey Partridges crossed the lane, only my second sighting of the year of this decling farmland bird, plus Buzzard and more Kestrels.
ARC - We finished the afternoon on the shingle from Hanson hide where all the usual wildfowl of late were noted, plus Glossy Ibis and two Great White Egrets, five Ruff, Marsh Harrier, Kingfisher and another 10 Kestrels between the car park and Plovers.
A terrific afternoons birding with 68 species noted with hirundines the main spectacle, closely followed by the large numbers of Chiffchaffs and Kestrels of which we must`ve tallied 50 of the latter.