Friday, 7 April 2017

Dungeness wildfowl refuge

Dungeness/Lade - warm, dry, sunny, light airs - The past couple of days have been pretty much of a muchness down here as a big old high pressure system settles over the country meaning clear nights and migrants going straight through and inland; we desperately need some rain and cloud cover to bring `em down. Seawatching has been mainly a waste of time, although it may improve tomorrow as the wind is forecast to swing round to the south. Likewise the Patch has been quiet with just the odd one or two passing Common Terns.
  This morning a Black Redstart was singing from the Obs side of the power station while a pair of Wheatears were on the beach opposite Jarman`s. Apart for the occasional Chiff/Willow and a stratospheric Yellow Wagtail, this morning was yet again snail-like on the land.
  Around the bird reserve the continuing drought has delivered plenty of islands on Burrowes and no doubt daily checks will result in a few passage waders as the month progresses. Sedge Warblers are well in and Reed Warblers have started to arrive this week on ARC, plus a few Chiff/Willows en-route, although I`ve only seen one Common Whitethroat so far. The Black-necked and Slavonian Grebes are still on New Diggings and a roving Great White Egret has been noted at Lade and Dengemarsh, while Marsh Harriers, Bearded Tits, Cetti`s Warblers, Tree Sparrows and Bittern are all in full breeding mode.
  The place is beginning to resemble a wildfowl collection what with the arrival today of a Red-crested Pochard on Burrowes, to go with the Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser and Egyptian Geese. The hayfields have attracted Water Pipit and Little Ringed Plover briefly this week beside the breeding Lapwings and Redshanks.

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