Lade - mild, sunny, nw 2 - After yesterdays gloomy skies it was good to feel the sunshine around the local patch today. The monthly WeBS count didn't yield too many surprises although a flock of 60 filter-feeding Shovelers on south lake was noteworthy. Typically, following a wet day and night, raptors were out in force this morning with at least four Marsh Harriers, three Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk working the Desert and farmland towards the airfield. On the bay a flock of 25 Brents dropped in amongst the waders.
Elsewhere around the Marsh this weekend the Ring-necked Duck and Cattle Egret were reported from the bird reserve along with all the usual Great Whites, Goldeneyes, a Goosander and the like, plus a Dartford Warbler by Firth hide. Several more of the latter were present in the Kerton Road triangle scrub along with the grey eastern type Stonechat. At Dungeness gulls were the order of the day with a variety of Herring Gull races (oops, I mean`t Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls!) and a brief Iceland Gull offshore yesterday. Further afield, the Facebook Snow Buntings were on St Mary`s Bay promenade and the Whooper Swan remained with the Mutes near Botolphs Bridge.
Regular visitors to Plovers will be saddened to learn that Jim the cat passed away yesterday. It was all a bit sudden and upsetting and the place doesn't seem quite the same without him; that`s the down side with pets, they become so entwined in the family way of life that when they go they leave a vacuum. Barney has been mooching about all day looking for his pal whom he grew up with. Jim was a typical aloof ginger Tom who spent most of his time out of doors sunbathing or plaguing the life out of the local Collared Doves, but we loved him dearly.