Lade - wet and windy, sw 4 - With the abandonment of our traditional NYD jaunt around the Marsh I enjoyed a more leisurely start to 2018, albeit in showery and increasingly cool weather conditions, but with a steady trickle of birds for the New Year list, not that I really keep such lists...
Anyhow, first off the local patch where the Long-tailed Duck and Slavonian Grebe were both on south lake, although I strongly suspect that there are two ducks as OL was watching one on north lake while the other was diving on south. Also noted along the main track a Dartford Warbler on call only. Cetti`s Warbler, Goldeneyes, Marsh Harrier, Green Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tits and Stonechat also present.
Dungeness - At the point in heavy rain and from the concrete road, a steady procession of Gannets, Guillemots and Kittiwakes moved just offshore along with the usual gulls and a 1st winter Caspian in the puddles by the fishing boats. On the bird reserve several Tree Sparrows and Reed Bunting on the Boulderwall feeders while the wet fields were loaded out with Lapwings, Golden Plovers, Wigeons, gulls and Starlings, plus Little and Great White Egrets, Grey Heron and Kestrel.
On Burrowes the usual wildfowl and Cormorants but few gulls, although a Glaucous had been seen earlier. Over the road from Hanson hide two Great White Egrets, several Pintails and two Bewick`s Swans amongst a range of dabbling ducks and gulls on the fast disappearing islands. A drive out onto Walland Marsh delivered at least 15 distant Bewick`s Swans hunkered in a sodden corn field to the south of Horse`s Bones farm, plus 20 Fieldfares and two Buzzards en-route.
An early afternoon scan of the bay from the Tavern viewpoint on a falling tide produced nine species of shorebirds, four Shelducks, a lone Brent, hundreds of gulls and a 1st winter Glaucous Gull that flew south towards Dungeness, presumable the same bird that ended up on Burrowes later.
Despite indifferent weather not a bad days birding with 81 species noted.