The Woods - cold, sunny, nw 2 - With continuing unfavourable sea watching conditions this morning we headed inland to the Wealden woods on the borderlands of the Marsh.
Our first stop was Park Wood, which was in full pomp on this sunny morning with swathes of bluebells and primroses amongst a wide range of spring flowers carpeting the woodland floor. But it was Nightingales we`d come to see, and they did not disappoint with up six singers around the car park coppice, including several that showed well low down in scrub. Elsewhere around the woodland, as the leaf cover wasn't yet fully out we enjoyed good views Nuthatches, Treecreepers, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Buzzards and Jay. Also, a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was heard along with Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
Kenardington - A walk along the canal in warm sunshine delivered a range of common wayside birds, plus green-veined whites, orange tip and holly blue butterflies and two grass snakes. Crossing the Marsh a brown hare was noted and a pair of Red-legged Partridges at Lydd, our first of the year. However, almost as scarce as the partridge, and despite checking out a couple of former regular sites I could not find a Yellowhammer. While I`m sure there are still one or two pairs out on the flatlands I fear its going the way of the Corn Bunting, and many other farmland birds, into terminal decline.
Scotney - After lunch at Plovers we headed for the farm where 10 Yellow Wagtails and up to eight Corn Buntings performed like good `uns amongst the suckling herd and on overhead wires. Several Whimbrels moved through and Egyptian Goose went onto the trip list.
Dungeness - An hour at the fishing boats from 1600hrs delivered the obligatory common seabirds and a single pale phase Arctic Skua up-Channel at 1630hrs, while several harbour porpoise fed close to shore.