Lade - cool, dry cloudy, s 2 - Several visits to the local patch eventually delivered 15 Wheatears, five Whinchats and two Stonechats on the Desert, plus a southbound trickle of Yellow Wagtails, Swallows, Mipits and singles of Tree Pipit and Grey Wagtail. Around the lakeside margins Greenshank, Common and Green Sandpipers and a flock of 10 Common Terns over the water. Also noted a Great White Egret, several Buzzards, Kestrels and Marsh Harriers.
Around lunchtime an Osprey put in an appearance over the bird reserve and along the coastal strip at Lydd-on-Sea where it was seen fishing over the Kerton Road pit. It eventually departed high over the bay towards the east, although presumably the same bird was seen later in the afternoon at Dengemarsh.
Dungeness - From Hanson hide this morning the Pectoral Sandpiper showed well along with three Garganeys and a large collection of Lapwings and wildfowl that were briefly flushed by a Peregrine. Two Spoonbills remained on Burrowes and at least three Cattle Egrets looked to be settled on the Boulderwall fields.
Walter Becker - This afternoon (along with many other fans of Steely Dan no doubt) I was saddened to hear of the passing of Walter Becker at the age of 67, whilst listening to the excellent Radio 2 Sounds of the 70`s show hosted by Johnnie Walker. Walter was, along with Donald Fagen, the co-founder of one of the great bands of the 1970`s - and boy was that decade packed full `em. I first came across Steely Dan in 1974 when Pretzel Logic was released, immediately becoming hooked on their unique sound, a dazzling blend of jazz, rock and R&B.
Walter Becker and Donald Fagen had a tempestuous relationship at the best of times and for much of the middle part of their career performed mostly as a studio band and rarely toured. But in the pantheon of rock musician and songwriter Walter Becker is right up there with the greats of popular music; and of course his legacy will continue as long as humankind appreciates the great art form that is music.