Wednesday - Lade - mild, dry and sunny - 0800hrs - At last, a decent day of weather with plenty of welcome sunshine and light airs. A stroll around the local patch delivered good views of the Dartford Warbler in the gorse south of the aerial, although I understand that by midday it was even more obliging, posing on a wire fence and atop the scrub. The Long-tailed Duck was more tricky to see, diving constantly on south lake, while the Slavonian Grebe was in the reedbed by the wall `mirror`.
Dungeness - From the causeway road a redhead Smew and a Black-necked Grebe on ARC and a pair of Goosanders on New Diggings continued what was to become a memorable day for wildfowl and grebes. On the Boulderwall fields a Brent Goose, 10 Curlews, Great White Egret, Buzzard and Stonechat, plus several Tree Sparrows on the feeders.
A guided walk for seven guests around the circular trail was notable for a pair of Smew on Christmas Dell pool, four Ruff on Burrowes and a Black-throated Diver in front of Dengemarsh hide, presumably the recent ARC bird. Also noted several Marsh Harriers, a Sparrowhawk, Great White Egrets, Goldeneyes and thousands of Lapwings and Golden Plovers in the sky above the reserve.
Scotney - With news from PB concerning a rash of goodies at Scotney this afternoon the view from the double bends was completely different from my last visit a few days ago. Two Red-necked Grebes were asleep on the lake amongst 20 Pintail and hundreds of common diving duck and Wigeon, while on the roadside field two Tundra Bean Geese and 30 White-fronts stood amongst a mixed flock of Greylag and Barnacle Geese.
A brilliant days birding comprising 13 species of ducks, seven of geese, five grebes and a diver across the gravel pits at Lade, Dungeness and Scotney.
(A belated post due to our Broadband being down yesterday)
Thursday - cold, grey, drizzle - Orlestone Forest - After yesterdays glorious weather today it was back to the gloom of Mordor, complete with a steady drizzle but thankfully without the orcs. Not exactly the best conditions to check the woods, but nothing ventured nothing gained and all that... However, during the course of the morning in Faggs and Longrope Woods the expect woodland birds noted, including two woodpeckers, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Jay and Tawny Owl. There was no sign of the king-of-the-finches or Lesser pecker.
On the way home a scan from Warehorne bridge overlooking the canal delivered Green Sandpiper and Kingfisher, and back at the coast I joined CT in the Hanson where a Firecrest showed well in front of the hide.