Lade - cool, cloudy, drizzle, nw 2 - 0730hrs - A distinctly autumnal feel to the weather first thing with a brisk north-westerly bathing the flatlands in cool, Arctic air. On the migrant front a Common Sandpiper over south lake was the first of the return passage, while plenty of Swifts and Sand Martins were also present. Common Whitethroat, Reed and Sedge Warblers continue to sing around the willow swamp, albeit a little half-heartedly, along with singles of Chiffchaff and Blackcap. The high tide Curlew roost on the Desert comprised at least 124 birds and a flock of 100 Lapwings swirled over the airport fields after being disturbed by Marsh Harriers.
RSPB - 1000hrs - A circuit of the bird reserve produced a decent crop of waders and raptors as the temperature rose. On Burrowes the few islands above water attracted Lapwings, Oystercatchers, six Redshanks, five Dunlins, Turnstone (summer plum job), Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers with more Redshanks, Lapwings and Oysteratchers on the hayfields and Whimbrel, Curlew and Greenshank over Dengemarsh. My first two juvenile Marsh Harriers of the summer were on the wing and at least six Buzzards were noted, plus two Kestrels along the access road, a Peregrine over the power station and two Hobbies at Dengemarsh. Elsewhere, Raven, Little Egret and Green Woodpecker, Sedge and Reed Warblers feeding young, Bearded Tits at Hooker`s, Yellow Wagtails, Swifts and Sand Martins overhead. Small Copper was the most numerous butterfly.