RSPB - mild, cloudy, sw 3 - First stop this morning was New Diggings where the 2 Black-necked Grebes showed well close to the causeway road, plus a Great White Egret at the western end.
There must`ve been a fall of Firecrests overnight as several were heard and seen in the scrub by the bird feeders, plus the usual tits, finches, Tree Sparrows and Reed Buntings.
Walking down to the return trail we all had cracking views of a Short-eared Owl that flew out over the shingle and around the car park before landing back down by the pond. The return trail is often deadly quiet, but not this morning as a trickle of Redpolls, Siskins and Goldfinches passed overhead, while in the brambles by the bridle path we had brief views of both Dartford Warbler and Ring Ouzel. Plenty of Blackbirds, Blue Tits, 4 Stonechats, Raven over, 2 Redwings, Green Woodpecker, Marsh Harrier and Kestrel completed a marvellous suite of bird variety in a small area. We also saw an old Hare and back at the car park enjoyed further good views of up to 5 Firecrests.
Rye Harbour - En-route the usual wildfowl and waders were noted on the grass at Scotney. At Rye we checked out Flat Beach from the John Gooder`s hide where the main spectacle was provided by c2,500 Golden Plovers and 1,000 Lapwings. In amongst the throng were a number of Shelduck, Redshank, Curlew, Little Grebe Turnstone, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Skylark and Meadow Pipit.
The afternoon was spent at Castle Water where loads more common wildfowl were noted, plus Stonechats, 2 Marsh Harriers, 12 Snipe, Chiffchaffs, Cetti`s Warblers, Kingfisher and a Mink swimming across the water in front of the hide being followed by a flock of Coots!
An excellent day in the field for the guests with the Firecrests and Shortie the highlights due to the superb views.