Dungeness - warm, dry, sunny, nw 2 - A cracking morning to be out and about in the field, and what better way to start the day than with a host of House Martins swarming around the old lighthouse and settling on overhead wires, as ever a superb sight. Infact, throughout the day thousands of hirundines passed over the peninsula and out to sea. There were plenty of Chiffchaffs in the bushes around the point, a few Mipits overhead and a showy Whinchat on the power station fence, plus a Clouded Yellow by the Patch wall.
Moving onto the bird reserve and on Burrowes the highlights were several Great White Egrets, three Avocets, five Shelducks (first since the moult), a Common Sandpiper, two Ravens over and close views of a Lesser Whitethroat in front of Dennis`s hide. Two late Swifts flew over ARC while from Hanson hide a flock of 25 Blackwits and 10 Knots were new, plus yesterdays Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stints and Dunlins. I had brief views of a Water Rail from Hanson hide while more Chiffchaffs, Blackcap and Cetti`s Warbler were noted in the willow scrub. At least 10 Common Buzzards drifted over amongst the usual Kestrels and Marsh Harriers, and a Stonechat and Whinchat were seen in the Kerton Road triangle.
Early afternoon from the Tavern viewpoint delivered hundreds of Curlews, Oystercatchers, Dunlins, Knots, Barwits and Sanderlings scattered across the sands, plus 50 Sandwich Terns, two Mediterranean Gulls and a Wheatear on the foreshore. Offshore at least four Grey Seals were noted following the receding tide for fish.
We finished off at the fishing boats where a trickle of Sandwich Terns, Gannets, two Arctic Skuas, 12 Common Scoters, four Brents (first of the autumn) a Guillemot and hundreds of outward bound hirundines rounded off a decent days birding for the guests.