Lade - mild, cloudy, sw 4 - We struck out across the shingle towards the pits into a blustery but mild wind. On south lake three Goldeneyes were new in, although they didn`t stay long before heading off towards the bird reserve. Despite the wind there was plenty of activity around the willow swamp with several Song Thrushes, Blackbirds, Goldcrests and Long-tailed Tits, plus Kingfisher and Sparrowhawk. Just the usual duck on north lake.
Back home two Goldcrests were calling from the garden laylandias with others in adjacent fir trees and by early afternoon were joined by a stunning (aren`t they always) Firecrest. Goldcrests were also present in the garden of the Kerton Road Café this afternoon.
Dungeness RSPB - From the causeway road the first of at least five Great White Egrets, around the reserve today, on ARC where also Kingfisher, Goldeneye and Slavonian Grebe. Another GWEgret at Boulderwall, plus Stonechat and Tree Sparrows with more of the latter on the feeders in the car park, along with two Goldcrests and several Blackbirds.
A group visit, around the circular trail for RSPB this morning, started at Dennis`s where at least 15 Blackbirds were flushed from scrub by the hide. Three Great White and five Little Egrets were on Burrowes plus all the usual wildfowl and two Marsh Harriers. The return trail was fairly quiet due to the strong wind but we managed a few Chiffchaffs, Cetti`s Warblers, Green Woodpecker, Linnets and Mipits. At Dengemarsh the two Cattle Egrets showed well amongst stock before flying around the hayfields and dropping down amongst cattle again.
Back at Burrowes where Black-necked Grebe and Pintail were noted amongst hundreds of common wildfowl from Scott hide, and best of all from Makepeace a flock of two Spotted Redshanks and seven Greenshanks on just about the only remaining island in front of the hide.
Considering the weather conditions it turned out to be a reasonable mornings birding, the highlights being a hat trick of egrets and a smart little flock of shanks.
Dungeness - 1430hrs - A truncated 30 minute seawatch from the fishing boats, due to nothing much happening, delivered singles of Red-throated Diver, Med Gull, Kittiwake and Brent Goose.