Lade - 0730hrs - mild and murky, light airs - Its not often the Starling makes the birding headlines, but today was one such day with at least 3,000 in off the bay in variable flock sizes, one of which was around a thousand strong, while many more were logged through Dungeness. There was little else of note locally apart from an increase in Goldcrests with at least 10 around the willow swamp.
Dungeness - More Starling flocks continued to sweep in over the bird reserve throughout the day, although there was little other overhead movement apart from a few Redpolls, Skylarks, Mipits, Chaffinches, Goldfinches and one Brambling. On Dengemarsh 300 Golden Plovers and 200 Lapwings made up the bulk wader numbers, plus 20 Snipe (a decent count these days), three Ruffs, Redshank and Dunlin. All the expected wildfowl, egrets and raptors were noted and there was three Mandarin Ducks on Burrowes. Over the road on ARC the Cattle Egret put in a brief appearance amongst 12 Great White Egrets, several more Marsh Harriers and, best of all, a flock of 12 Lesser Redpolls feeding on weed seeds in front of the hide. A Kingfisher alighted briefly on its perch while a large mixed passerine flock in the willows contained several Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs amongst the majority Long-tailed Tits. A brief search for a reported Yellow-browed Warbler by the Screen hide drew a blank.
At the point this afternoon the sea was quiet with just the usual Gannets fishing offshore and a few Kittiwakes and Mediterranean Gulls milling about.