Lade - 0800hrs - mild, rain, cloudy, sw 5 - After spending the weekend in the Chilterns (Red Kites and that kind of thing...) it was a case of playing catch up with the WeBS count on the local patch this morning in wet and windy conditions. A redhead Goldeneye was the first of the autumn, while a count of 711 Coots was a personal site record.
I then counted the wildfowl on New Diggings and the ponds at Boulderwall for RSPB, but there were few birds present.
Scotney- Spent a couple of hours over two visits around midday checking out the plovers on the grass at Scotney from the lay-bye searching for yesterdays American version amongst a couple of hundred nervy Golden Plovers. While there were several adult Golden Plovers moulting out of breeding plumage there was one distinctive looking individual that showed only briefly before crouching in a fold in the ground and eventually being flushed by a Peregrine. Unlike the other Goldens this bird had extensive black blotching on the underparts running under the vent, a bold white supercilium and a grey caste to a spangled back.
As I say, views were brief and I didn`t note the underwing colour and could not rule out Pacific, or a runt Golden, so all in all pretty hopeless really. Still the likelihood is that it`ll stick around and maybe with better weather tomorrow offer up another chance as for most of the time the birds were hunkered down trying to shelter from the strong wind and squally showers.
Also on the grass six Ruff, ten Dunlin, two Curlews and the usual feral flock of Barnacle Geese.
Dungeness - After going through the high tide, roosting gulls on the beach this afternoon checking for yesterdays Audouin`s (where the best I could muster was an adult Yellow-legged Gull) we joined PB at the fishing boats for an hour. A steady passage of Sandwich and Common Terns was underway down-Channel along with three large parties of Brents comprising in total around 100, plus 25 Common Scoters, three Teal, five Arctic Skuas, two Bonxies, five Med Gulls, two Dunlin, Sanderling, Curlew, Guillemot and Kittiwake.
Good numbers of skuas had been recorded earlier along with a Sooty Shearwater and at least five Leache`s Petrels (PB).
Called in at the Lade boardwalk on the way home where three Bonxies were harrying the gulls on the beach.