Lade - The past few days have been much-of-a-muchness weather wise being mild and windy. However, today the wind dropped affording ideal birding conditions, and there was plenty to see across the peninsula.
On the local patch four each of Great White Egret and Goldeneye were present on south lake with two Pintails on north lake. Several Song Thrushes were noted (rare here) in the Desert scrub along with a scattering of Mipits, Stonechats and even some Linnets.
Dungeness - Moving on to the bird reserve and it was standing room only on the shingle ridges, viewed from Hanson hide, where the bulk numbers comprised 500 Lapwing, 300 Golden Plover, 80 Shoveler, 50 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 30 Gadwall, 10 Pintail, four Shelduck and 200 gulls, mainly Black-headed. Also in the mix were four Great White Egret, six Snipe, two Dunlin and a Redshank. A Kingfisher briefly perched on its post, Water Rail and Cetti`s Warbler called from the reedbed while a flock of passerines around the car park scrub included 12 Goldcrest and two Chiffchaff.
At Boulderwall a Cattle Egret showed well amongst the cows and several Stonechats and Marsh Harriers were noted along the access road. The islands on Burrowes were packed out with 1,000 Cormorant, 800 Lapwing and hundreds more common wildfowl and gulls, plus a few Snipe, Dunlin and Goldeneye. At least one 1st winter Caspian and an adult Yellow-legged Gull were located.
This afternoon from the fishing boats, on a flat calm sea, yielded a few Guillemots, Gannets, Kittiwakes and a distant Bonxie.
Smew are due on the local gravel pits about now and it shouldn't be too long before the Bewick`s Swans return to fields on Walland Marsh, perhaps this weekend...