Dungeness - mild, cloudy, drizzle, sw 5/6 - Met Lew from north Kent for a days birding around the peninsula today, in far from ideal weather conditions with a blustery wind whipping in off the Channel and roughing up the sea. We kicked off with a seawatch from the hide where the usual ranks of Guillemots and a few Razorbills were either on the sea, or fizzing to and fro, plus Gannets, Kittiwakes, Great Crested Grebes and Red-throated Divers. At the Patch a single 1st winter Iceland Gull hunkered on the beach amongst the regular gulls.
On the RSPB reserve a Slavonian Grebe was sheltering from the wind on the far side of New Diggings and we eventually saw the Ring-necked Duck which was also keeping away from open water and hugging the reeds at the far end of Cook`s Pool. It was difficult going in the developing gale but we eventually teased out Tree Sparrows and Curlews at Boulderwall, Raven, Dunlin and Goldeneye on Burrowes, Golden Plovers, six Ruffs, Marsh Harrier, Great White Egret and a ringtail Hen Harrier at Dengemarsh, plus a Pink-footed Goose amongst a mixed flock of feral geese on the arable land.
We eventually racked up 70 odd species, but it was just one of those days when the weather conditions ran out the winner.