Lade - 1300hrs - mild, overcast, sw 3 - Spent the morning painting out the bathroom, so it was with some relief that we `escaped` this afternoon for a wander. On the local patch plenty of common wildfowl on both lakes but everything was being spooked by pigeon shooting activities over by Belgar Farm. Great swathes of bird biomass were flighting over the airport fields: Woodpigeons, Stock Doves, corvids, gulls, ducks, Lapwings, Starlings and Curlews made up the bulk, along with passerines such as Skylarks, Mipits and finches also milling about. From a vantage point at the school end of north lake I could see Woodies falling foul of the gunners as they approached lures, and other birds, when winged, half tumbling from the sky, injured and carrying on with missing wing feathers to goodness knows what fate - the foxes won`t go hungry tonight, that`s for sure.
Dungeness - 1430-1545hrs - Anyhow, on a brighter note, together with TC, we pressed on to the concrete road and a seawatch, with calmer seas than of late and in good light. A steady passage of Gannets and Kittiwakes was underway and very entertaining it was too, plus singles of Red-throated Diver, Guillemot, Med and Little Gulls. DW, PB and TG left site having seen a couple of skuas over the past three hours, a few sea duck and the like, but just as we were about to pack up, at 1540hrs, a Grey Phalarope, flew along the shoreline so close we nearly missed it as it passed beneath the shingle ridge. It then settled on the sea briefly, about 20 yards out, before heading west into the setting sun. We scanned again by the coastguard lookout with CP and DG but failed to relocate it.
TC also had a single Swallow at Lydd-on-Sea this morning.