Dungeness - 0630-0830hrs - mild, overcast, s 4 - The wind eventually swung around to the south in the early hours affording favourable seawatching conditions this morning from the hide. By the time we arrived it was already full with the usual suspects, plus David Roche on a flying visit from Norfolk. Hundreds of Gannets fed/moved offshore while there was a steady up-Channel passage of Common Scoters and Brents underway, plus a sprinkling of Red-throated Divers, Kittiwakes, Fulmars, auks, and the icing on the cake 3 dark phase Arctic Skuas, our first of the spring. In amongst the thousands of coasting gulls were several Mediterranean Gulls and, surprise, surprise an immature Iceland Gull that appeared out of nowhere before passing in front of the hide and drifting along the tideline towards the Patch. Several of the more alert photographers managed to fire off some shots (check out: www.ploddingbirder.blogspot.co.uk ). On the sea hundreds of gulls, grebes, and Cormorants, plus 2 porpoises. We wandered up to the Patch checking the blizzard of gulls for the Iceland but without success. In the lighthouse garden numerous Firecrests were still present with others in Westbeach scrub and behind the café.
Lade - An afternoon check of the pits in near gale force winds turned up our first 3 Sand Martins of the season hawking insects in the lee of the willow swamp above the causeway. Also, 2 each of Firecrest and Goldcrest in the garden today.