Lade - 0800hrs - Foggy, mild, light airs - With Redwings passing over the cottage around dawn expectation levels rose as we trudged across the shingle towards Mockmill Sewer. A few Skylarks and Mipits filtered overhead and when all of a sudden the sun broke through, burning off the murk, up popped a few passerines to bask in the early morning warmth. The tangle of bramble, blackthorn and nettles contained a goodly number of commoners such as Chaffinches, Robins, Wrens, Dunnocks, Song Thrushes and Blackbirds, plus 10 Stonechats, 10 Reed Buntings, a Chiffchaff, two Cetti`s Warblers, a Green Woodpecker and goodness knows what else. Around 500 Curlews flew to roost on the storm ridges, while Marsh Harrier, Kestrel and a Short-eared Owl hunted the back fields behind the `mirrors`.
On south lake there was a significant increase in Shovelers and Pochards to over 100 each, plus a Great White Egret, a Kingfisher, two Swallows south and plenty of vocalising Water Rails in the reed beds.
Dungeness - 1300hrs - At long last a quality bird for the locals to enjoy in the shape of a trapped Pallas`s Warbler. By the time I got my act together (thanks for the call Gill) the bird was still in the moat showing intermittently amongst the sallows in the Heligoland trap. In the bright sunshine the rump appeared particularly conspicuous as it flitted between bushes and the netting within a mini flock of Goldcrests and at least one each of Firecrest and Chiffchaff.
Perhaps now the rarity gate has been partly opened we can enjoy a late autumn run of rare Siberian migrants. Time will tell...