Lade - 0600hrs - warm, dry, sunny, ne 3 - Its that time of year again when I start to think about my bogey bird, the Aquatic Warbler. Although numbers are declining at their central European breeding grounds, about now they`re on the move west along the coastline of the Low Countries and into northern France where a bird was mist-netted on Monday at Wissant. It seems that each year fewer and fewer reach our shores, but we still have plenty of suitable habitat hereabouts and geographically we`re in the zone, although a south-easterly wind off the continent would be more helpful.
And so it was, more in hope than expectation, that we struck out early slogging across the shingle towards Mockmill sewer with its riot of bramble, juncus and herbaceous growth. Sedge, Reed and Willow Warblers, Common and Lesser Whitethroats were all noted feeding amongst the cover, and occasionally popping up to greet the sunshine. Every Sedge Warblers` streaking and stripes were scrutinised, but to no avail, and none had spiky tails. Just need that little bit of luck, and a southerly blow, maybe Friday...
However, also noted in the scrub was our first Whinchat of the autumn, plus two Wheatears on the Desert. On south lake more Pochards have moved in reaching 200 or more and two Whimbrel passed over calling. Kestrel, Marsh Harrier and Hobby all noted.
RSPB - 1000hrs - A circular walk for five RSPB guests yielded the following highlights: four Great White Egrets, four Common Sandpipers, two Redshanks and a Ruff on Burrowes, eight Greenshanks over Dengemarsh, four Yellow Wagtails over the return trail, two Marsh Harriers (including a stunning juvenile female) and a Common Buzzard. Due to the bright sunshine and brisk wind only a few common warblers and hirundines were noted. Duck numbers continue to steadily build on Burrowes and Dengemarsh.
Lade Bay - 1600hrs - We walked the foreshore from the boardwalk to the Tavern where hundreds of Dunlins, Sanderlings and Ringed Plovers were feeding out on the gloopy mud. Some of the Dunlins were very approachable and took no notice of the holidaymakers running around nearby. Good numbers of Knot, Curlew, Barwit, Oystercatcher and two Grey Plovers were also noted further out on the bay, plus 120 Sandwich and 50 Common Terns, two Shelducks and a Whimbrel overhead calling.