Lade - Despite the brisk wind over the weekend small parties of Yellow Wagtails and Sand Martins continued to drift overhead, pressing south, while grounded migrants could only be detected by their calls as they sheltered in cover; around the willow swamp Willow Warblers and Common Whitethroats were plentiful. Three Common Sandpipers were present on the margins of south lake, plus a Green Sandpiper on north lake.
Elsewhere, it was a similar picture on ARC where small waders were largely absent apart from the odd Dunlin, Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover coming and going, plus Ruff and Little Stint on Burrowes. At the fishing boats a morning passage of Balearic Shearwaters, Gannets and terns petered out by the afternoon, along with a few Fulmars and Arctic Skuas.
Dengemarsh - 1000hrs - On Sunday Mrs PT joined us for a circuit of Dengemarsh in blustery, but mild weather conditions. By Springfield bridge plenty of Sand Martins were on the move and every field seemed to hold Yellow Wagtails. A Great White Egret, three Marsh Harriers, a Black-tailed Godwit and two Common Sandpipers were noted around the lake, while two Black Terns flew through. Common Terns continue to bring in fish for youngsters on the rafts amid all the usual wildfowl and grebes. From the back track to Lydd, three Common Buzzards over the farmland being mobbed by crows, a Hobby fizzed through and a couple of Corn Buntings flushed by Barney from a stubble field.
Royal Naval Birdwatching Society - When at sea, during the 1970s, I was a member of the Society and occasional contributor to their newsletters and journal, Sea Swallow. Every so often a local birder kindly passes on the latest copy for me to peruse and there is always much to enjoy for the lover of seabirds, both from the north Atlantic and around the globe. Volume 64 (2015) is packed full of a wide variety of fascinating papers and notes, including an obituary to Bryan Nelson (of Gannet fame) news, reviews and sightings.
Closer to home though is a paper entitled The fate of Dungeness. The first part was written by Bill Bourne in 1967 and reproduced from the Seabird Bulletin of that year, during which he reflects on visits to Dungeness and Rye Harbour following WW2; fascinating stuff, including comments on Kentish Plovers when they still nested on the outfall of the River Rother, long after the Dunge birds had ceased to be.
The second part of the paper is written by current Dungeness Bird Observatory warden David Walker during which he sympathises with Bill Bourne regarding the many losses. However, David complements the first part of the paper by bringing the Dungeness story full circle and up-to-date, as well as putting a positive spin on the more recent conservation work carried out by both RSPB and DBO, despite the ongoing effects of nuclear power generation, mass tourism and climate change.
For any Dungeness aficionados out there it is a worthy read, and if you cannot come by a copy Volume 64 will soon be uploaded onto the Society`s website: www.rnbws.org.uk