Lade - warm, dry, sunny, s 2 - One of the great joys about living down here on the edge of the sea on the Dungeness National Nature Reserve is the ebb and flow of two of our most charismatic waders as they move between roost sites and feeding grounds at high and low tide respectively. Oystercatchers and Curlews are birds I see and hear on a daily basis and currently there are about a 1,000 present on the bay.
Yesterday evening whilst sitting in the garden in balmy weather conditions, moon-watching, the tide turned and over they came. The Curlews are always first and tend to fly high over the cottage, but my favourites are the Oystercatchers with their constant clammering and low angle of flight. You can hear the swish of their wing beats and see their white bellies as they almost skim the roof. A marvellous spectacle.
Song Thrushes are birds I only see down here on the coast in the autumn and last night there was a drop in of around 15 birds scattered across the shingle scrub along with several Redwings and Blackbirds. Goldcrests were still present around the willow swamp, while south lake was packed out with the usual wildfowl, Coots and grebes.
An evening visit to Mockmill yielded a single Short-eared Owl hunting over the sewer which spent some time defending its catch from a female Kestrel that persistently harried it on the ground. Huge numbers of corvids flew over at dusk, mainly Jackdaws, to roost over the Oppen pits way.