Lade - mild, dry, sunny, light airs - A weekend of benign weather with the overcast skies of yesterday giving way to glorious sunshine today and light winds throughout. With a poor weather forecast for the coming week I decided to tackle the shorebirds this weekend, spending ages counting and recounting the waders on flood and ebb tides between Lade car park and the Varne slipway to come up with a more or less comprehensive count, or at least best endeavours: Oystercatcher 855, Curlew 483, Ringed Plover 12, Grey Plover 28, Knot 36, Sanderling 258, Dunlin 506, Barwit 42, Turnstone 20 and Redshank eight. There was also many thousands of gulls present, including a few roosting Kittiwakes and Mediterranean Gulls, plus several Shelducks and two Brent Geese.
The gravel pit lakes continue to hold two Long-tailed Ducks and a Slavonian Grebe, up to 14 Goldeneyes, an increase in Shovelers to 160 and a couple of Shelducks. A Dartford Warbler continued to be elusive in the gorse scrub by south lake while Cetti`s Warbler, Marsh Harrier, Green Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tit, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Water Rail and Kingfisher were all noted across the site.
Dungeness - Yesterday morning a brief look at the sea yielded thousands of Guillemots, Razorbills, Great Crested Grebes and Cormorants plundering the fish shoals along with plenty of Gannets, Kittiwakes, Red-throated Divers and at least one Bonxie.
On the bird reserve a pair of Smew were on Burrowes while the Black-throated Diver was still on Dengemarsh lake.