Romney Marsh/Low Weald - calm and cloudy, hail and rain, sunny and windy - Spent yesterday with CP and PL doing a belated and leisurely NYDay bird race in mixed weather conditions. We kicked off at dawn in Park Wood with calling Tawny Owls and overflying Sparrowhawk and Buzzard leaving roosts, plus a wide range of common woodland birds including two woodpeckers, four tits, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and Jay.
Moving down to the canal the likes of Bullfinch,Yellowhammer, winter thrushes, Reed Bunting, Great White and Little Egrets, Mipit and Kingfisher were all located, despite a spectacular hail storm which gave us all a good soaking. Across the Marsh, Tree Sparrow, Golden Plover, Marsh Harrier and Bewick`s Swan were all noted at their usual locations. Scotney in the rain was disappointing apart from a variety of ducks and Barnacle Geese.
Next stop Lade and the bay where eight waders were seen out on the sands on an incoming tide. On the pits both Long-tailed Duck and Slavonian Grebe went onto the day list alongside Shelduck, Dabchick, Goldeneye, Water Rail, Cetti`s Warbler, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest, although we drew a blank on yesterdays Smew.
At Dungeness fishing boats plenty of Guillemots and Kittiwakes on the sea with Gannets further out, a trickle of passing Red-throated Divers, four Razorbills and a 1st winter Little Gull, while the regular 1st winter Caspian Gull was on the beach.
Around the bird reserve the Black-throated Diver was eventually tracked down at the north end of ARC where also Snipe, Blackwit and Pintail, plus Linnets on Dengemarsh and finally on Burrowes a roosting 1st winter Glaucous Gull, which after a late tally up proved to be the 100th and final species for the day as we failed to find a Canada Goose in fading light on the Boulderwall fields!
However, a most satisfying day in the field and many thanks to Chris for driving.