Lade - cold and sunny, light airs - We wandered south across the Desert first thing on a beautiful crisp morning to check the broom scrub for Dartford Warbler, but drew a blank. In the distance I could see the grey Stonechat perched on the boundary fence on the margins of Kerton Road pit as the first of the days twitchers slithered across the welded shingle to pay homage. On south lake two Great White Egrets were being hassled by a Grey Heron in the far reedbed and the Goldeneye count reached eight, while two Marsh Harriers checked out the fitness of the Coots and ducks, scattering them across the mill-pond like lake.
Rye Harbour - Pat joined us for a trip down to Rye this morning in glorious sunshine. En-route we noted two Goosanders and a Slavonian Grebe on New Diggings and the Red-necked Grebe on the fishing lake west of Camber. A circuit of the beach reserve delivered a fine spectacle of common waders and wildfowl on the salt marsh and pools, including two Pintail, a Ruff, three Snipe, 28 Dabchicks and a flock of 100 Skylarks.
We lunched in the recently renovated William the Conqueror pub by the quay (3 real ales, good grub, log fire and dog-friendly) and comes highly recommended; Barney was made up with the fire and milked it for all it was worth.
Another visit to Scotney this afternoon delivered a Pink-footed Goose, 3 Tundra Bean Geese and a Black-necked Grebe, our fifth species of grebe today. Finally, from Hanson hide eight Bewick`s Swans flying in to roost on the lake was a fitting end to fine day in the field.