Wednesday - Dungeness - mild, sunny, light airs - For a change of scene we walked Dengemarsh gully first thing. It always looks as though it should be good for something or other, and does have form, but as is often the case, this morning, it was virtually birdless apart from a flock of Redpolls over and a few Great Tits in the bushes. However, the sea was much better with plenty of Gannets, Kittiwakes, auks and several Mediterranean Gulls feeding offshore, plus 20 Common Scoters and two Red-throated Divers flying into Rye bay.
Moving onto the bird reserve and it was a case of the same old cat food really, with plenty of Great White and Little Egrets on the lakes and the Cattle Egret still ensconced on the Boulderwall fields, faithfully tracking the cows. Elsewhere, a trickle of finches, Mipits, Skylarks and thrushes were noted in the bushes and overhead, a few Tree Sparrows on the feeders, the usual Marsh Harriers, a couple of Sparrowhawks, plenty of wildfowl, grebes, Lapwings and Golden Plovers. So, just a normal day at Dungeness.
Probably the best bird of the day though was a Firecrest that spent half an hour in the garden fir trees snapping up small invertebrates.
Thursday - Lade - misty and mild - A circuit of the local patch in gorgeous sunshine delivered seven Great White Egrets amongst 12 Little Egrets on south lake and the first two redhead Goldeneyes of the autumn on north lake. Judging from their nervy reaction I reckon they`d just dropped in. Two Ring Ouzels were flushed from cover along the scrub by the ponds and a Merlin chased Skylarks over the airport fields.
Dungeness - Called in at ARC Hanson hide where a Dotterel had been located within a large flock of Golden Plovers. I missed the one earlier in the autumn making this ample compensation.
Hythe - En-route to Folkestone I paused at the seafront opposite the Hythe Imperial where two Purple Sandpipers were Velcroed to the sea defence blocks along with ten Turnstones.