Lade - 0700hrs - cool, cloudy, nw 2 - Another chilly night depleted the Plovers moth catch although Canary-shouldered Thorn was new for the year. Still plenty of common migrants out back, including several hundred hirundines, 50 Yellow Wagtails and a scattering of Mipits, Wheatears, Whinchats, Common Whitethroats, Willow and Reed Warblers, plus one or two Sedge Warblers and Chiffchaffs around the ponds and Tree Pipit and Grey Wagtail over. On south lake great clumps of Canadian water weed on the surface proved irresistible to Gadwalls, Coots and Dabchicks.
Raptors were the most noteworthy group though with up to 10 each of Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk and 5 Marsh Harriers noted throughout the morning here, over New Romney and around the bird reserve. No surprise really, as early September with a north-westerly airflow and the sun breaking through is a bit of a classic for raptor movement.
RSPB - The juvenile Red-backed Shrike was still present by the return trail along with several Common Whitethroats and Whinchats, while over the road a juvenile White-winged Tern remained on ARC. The islands are fast disappearing, although 5 Ruffs lurked amongst the Golden Plovers and Lapwings. A Cattle Egret and 3 Great Whites were reported from Dengemarsh.
Walland Marsh - Accompanied CP put onto the flatlands this evening in calm weather with threatening storm clouds moving in from the north, but fortunately the rain didn't bother us. Raptors were the order of the day with 10 Marsh Harriers, 6 Buzzards and 2 Kestrels, plus an incredible 6 Barn Owls on the wing, presumably a few juveniles amongst them. Hirundines (mostly Sand Martins) numbered in the thousands, swarming over the fields feeding on gnats. Also noted 20 Yellow Wagtails, a Whinchat and 3 Med Gulls in a large flock of Common and Black-headed Gulls.
We finished the evening with a cracking sunset.