Dungeness - 0730hrs - cool, cloudy, n 2 -There was a decent overhead movement of passerines this morning dominated by thousands of Starlings (how very apt, considering events in the Channel today) streaming in from the east in variable sized flocks; we must`ve had c5,000, but the finally tally should be more than double that (see DBO website). Hundreds of common finches, Skylarks and Mipits were also on the move, plus smaller numbers of Siskin, Redpoll and Brambling. As for thrushes all six species were recorded including a single Mistle Thrush overhead and a grounded Ring Ouzel in the moat where also a few Chiffchaffs, Stonechats, Goldcrests and Robins, plus a House Martin and two Swallows over the power station. Raptors through the morning included five Kestrels, three Sparrrowhawks, two Buzzards and a Short-eared Owl over the Desert. Quality was provided by an all too brief appearance of a Great Grey Shrike near the Obs that flew off high to the south.
Around noon the main point of interest was provided by the Russian flotilla of warships that moved through the English Channel en-route to the eastern Mediterranean. News soon got round on social media as hundreds of ship-watchers descended on the Estate to witness the spectacle. The aircraft carrier was spewing out smoke as it steamed past the Ness and you could easily discern the planes and choppers on the flight deck.