Lade - mild, wet, sw 3 - This past fortnight has all been a bit strange what with having to cope with a death in the family and all. We closed the business as a mark of respect and to take stock. Yesterday was the funeral, and truth be told we shall both be glad to see the back of February down here at Plovers and look forward to cheerier times next month.
However, life goes on as they say and the weather today reflected our general mood, with low cloud, mist and drizzle/heavy rain throughout, as we circuited the local patch. The lakes held a couple of Goldeneyes and there was a decent selection of Sanderlings, Dunlins and Ringed Plovers along the foreshore, plus two beached barrel jellyfish.
Scotney - Had to nip into Lydd this afternoon so we checked out the pits as with the coast road being closed until the weekend there was virtually no traffic belting by. In the heavy rain it was possible to pull up anywhere along the road and scan the grass and water without fear of a gravel lorry careering past. And there was plenty to see with hundreds of Teal and Wigeon grazing and dabbling on the fields along with an array of waders: Redshanks, Oystercatchers, Lapwings, Curlews, Dunlins, Ringed Plovers and a Little Stint. A couple of Little Egrets came and went and a mixed flock of Starlings and Pied Wagtails worked the poached area around the straw bales.
The difference it makes here with hardly any traffic on the road is incredible and with a better weather forecast in the offing for tomorrow, we shall return for a proper look around. Scotney has been the most productive site locally for waders this year with Little Stint, Avocet, Green Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank already noted and no doubt plenty more surprises to come.
We drove the range road on the way home in pouring rain which yielded nought, while the wintering Cattle Egrets were in their favoured field at Brickwall Farm at the bottom of Dengemarsh Road.
At Cockles Bridge there were two Little Egrets feeding amongst the sheep and from the causeway road Smew and Great White Egret were noted on ARC and a Black-necked Grebe on New Diggings. Apparently the drake RCP was still on the dipping pond on the bird reserve, but I couldn't be asked to negotiate the badly pot-holed access road for a plastic duck.