Lade - mild, cloudy, w 3 - With news that most of the Walland Marsh Bewick`s Swans were seen to fly off out to sea yesterday afternoon I was surprised to see five flying towards me this morning. They came from ARC direction so I presume were birds that had roosted over night and decided to leave at first light. Bewick`s Swans are fabulous birds and it would be a shame if we lost our wintering flock, which seem to diminish in numbers each winter. I watched the five go out until they disappeared from view over the Channel and silently wished them safe passage on what is a perilous journey to their northern breeding grounds.
The Slavonian Grebe made a reappearance on south lake, although it could`ve been skulking in reedbeds across the site all along. Goldeneyes were much in evidence at 10 and Shoveler numbers had risen to 60. A Great White Egret lurked in the main reed bed and a Marsh Harrier drifted behind the wall `mirror`. Passerine wise a pair of Stonechats were new and several Mipits flew over calling.
The usual bits and pieces were on station around the bird reserve including the drake Ring-necked Duck at Boulderwall and two Slavonian Grebes on New Diggings.
Dungeness - Joined DW and PB at the fishing boats this afternoon where the 2nd winter Iceland Gull drifted by towards the Patch, rudely ignoring our attempts to lure it in with bread. On the sea plenty of auks, Great Crested Grebes and Red-throated Divers, plus passing Gannets.
PS: The 2nd winter Iceland Gull did join the two 1st winter birds at the Patch (PB).
The wind picked up through the day as Storm Doris approached out of the Atlantic.
We enjoyed a great set by legendary folk rockers, Fairport Convention, at Canterbury this evening. This being their 50 anniversary year there was a good mix of stuff from the back catalogue and the new album. Chris Leslie was on top form, what a legend; singer song writer, multi instrumentalist, and he even made his own fiddle!