Lade - cold, dry, frosty, light airs - A stunning morning with bright blue skies, hardly any wind and sparkling light, ideal for digging out a few passerines of which Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tits, Cetti`s Warbler, Chiffchaff and Reed Bunting noted around the willow swamp, plus Meadow Pipit and Stonechat on the shingle ridges. At least 4 Marsh Harriers and 2 Kestrels were active behind the `mirrors`, while there was no change in the massed ranks of wildfowl on the lakes.
Dengemarsh - Moving onto the bird reserve where 2 Black-necked Grebes noted on New Diggings from the causeway, we parked up in ARC and walked the circular route through the hayfields via Springfield bridge and back past Hookers. All the usual Marsh Harriers and egrets noted throughout the walk, plus; 2,000 Lapwings, 10 Skylarks and 2 Corn Buntings on a field of winter wheat; Bearded Tits, Bittern, Cetti`s Warbler, Reed Bunting and Stonechat at Hooker`s; 2 Redshanks on hayfield 3 and a Raven over. Called in at the visitors centre where 4 Smew and a Slavonian Grebe were the highlight on Burrowes amongst plenty of wildfowl.
Also reported today around the reserve, 2 Shags on Burrowes from Makepeace hide, a Dartford Warbler in the scrub by Christmas Dell and an adult male Hen Harrier over the entrance track.
Tree Sparrows - Whilst pausing at Boulderwall for a natter I learned that several more Tree Sparrows had been colour ringed this morning, bringing the total to over 100 birds since the scheme began a few years ago. Dungeness and the Marsh are important areas for this declining farmland bird and if you do see any colour ringed Tree Sparrows please report the details to the RSPB at Dungeness.
Dungeness - An afternoon visit along the foreshore by the boats delivered a few passing Kittiwakes, a flock of Wigeon and 2 Common Scoters, while the 1st winter Glaucous Gull and a 2nd winter Caspian Gull were amongst the roosting gulls by the lighthouse.