Lade - Cool, dry, sunny, nw 3 - A complete contrast in the temperature from yesterday as a cool northerly airflow swept across the country overnight. However, it turned into the best day of the spring so far for migrants - so, that`s the north-westerly being-no-good- for-birds theory kicked firmly into touch! From the off a scattering of Willow Warblers and Blackcaps were active on the local patch around the willow swamp, plus two Wheatears and Stonechats on the Desert. More Willow Warblers were calling from back gardens hereabout and several pulses of Swallows moved north over the cottage during the morning.
Dengemarsh - This afternoon, with George and Ann down from Essex for a three day Birdwatching Break, we headed to the bird reserve where after a bit of effort we had good views of a male Pied Flycatcher in the willow scrub by Scott hide, a rare bird here now in the spring. A few more Willow Warblers and Blackcaps were present, plus plenty of singing Sedge and Cetti`s Warblers and a Common Whitethroat. Swallows continued to pulse over in small groups heading inland. Around Dengemarsh good views of Marsh Harriers were enjoyed along with six Snipes and four Dabchicks from Christmas Dell hide, the Ring-necked Duck on Cook`s Pool and Tree Sparrows at Boulderwall. Also noted Green Woodpecker, Pintail, Wigeon, Little Egret and Raven.
Dungeness - We finished the afternoon on the Ness where at least 15 Willow Warblers were in and around the lighthouse garden. Whilst watching a stream of Swallows coming in off the sea, and a pair of Wheatears in the old Experimental Station site, up popped a stunning male Redstart on the fenceline, another classic, but declining spring migrant, and a fine end to any birding day.