Dungeness -0630hrs - cool, cloudy, nw 3 - For a change of scene we headed down to the point first thing where four Wheatears were on the beach opposite Jarman`s. After a quick chat with the seawatchers it was no surprise that nothing much was being seen offshore due to the wind direction. At the Patch a 1st year Iceland Gull sat on the beach preening amongst a small flock of Black-headed Gulls, while at least six Common Terns hawked over the boil. The land was virtually birdless, although a Pied Flycatcher was reported in West Beach scrub later.
From the causeway road the usual Slavonian and Black-necked Grebes hugged the sheltered bank on New Diggings, while three Garganeys and a Yellow Wagtail dropped onto the south end of ARC. Around the car park scrub and Tower Pits, Willow, Sedge, Reed and Cetti`s Warblers, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Lesser and Common Whitethroats all sang, plus a `booming` Bittern. Nothing much at the pines, but a drake Red-breasted Merganser was something of a surprise find at the north end of ARC. Also noted, Marsh Harrier, two Kestrels, Long-tailed Tit, Green Woodpecker, Lapwings, several Tree Sparrows, 10 Swallows, Teal, Shelducks and Little Egret. On the main body of the reserve the Ring-necked Duck and Long-eared Owl were at their usual locations, plus four Whimbrels from the access road.
A scan from Springfield Bridge this afternoon revealed a Greenshank and Great White Egret, plus several Yellow Wagtails overhead, a `booming` Bittern, a White-fronted Goose and two Marsh Harriers. Called in at Cook`s Pool to look for two Water Pipits that had been reported earlier, but there was no sign, although two unidentified `pipits` did a brief flyover.