Saturday - Lade - cool, dry, sunny, NE 2 - A terrific weekend of local birds, and how often does Cup Final day deliver the goods! It commenced with our first Whinchat of spring in Mockmill on Saturday. Also in the gully plenty more Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats, plus, at last, several singing Linnets, while the Stonechat juvs were out of the nest being fed by the adults. Unfortunately my bridge camera has been playing up, with the screen blanking out, making any pics at the moment a bit hit and mostly miss.
Dungeness - Friday`s Hoopoe showed again in the Dengemarsh Road area on and off through the day feeding mainly along the roadside verges and in the fields either side where we had brief views. At ARC we enjoyed better success with a Bittern flying over the car park and hunting frogs in front of Screen hide, plus a drake Garganey out on the lake. After the Cup Final a return to ARC in the evening where a Bee-eater had been found (many thanks to Gill for the call) drew a blank.
Rye Harbour - The Cup Final day bird fest continued with discovery of a cracking Terek Sandpiper on a pool on the Beach Reserve at Rye, (only the second during my time) which prompted a steady flow of twitchers to site throughout the afternoon. Also present amongst the breeding terns and waders was a Curlew Sandpiper in partial breeding plumage.
For a superb suite of pics of the weekends rarities check out: www.ploddingbirder.blogspot.co.uk
Sunday - Lade - cloudy, dry, light airs - The cool overnight conditions made for a poor catch in the garden moth trap with only five common species recorded. On south lake a flock of 100 hirundines, mainly House Martins, fed low over the water on emerging insects and a Hobby zipped across the Desert.
Dungeness - On the walk back from the pits news came through from the bird reserve of an adult male Kentish Plover on Burrowes, discovered by Liz and Paul H. Unfortunately it decided to settle on one of the distant islands, although it gave good scope views from Dennis`s hide for the many local and visiting birders. I managed to get the bridge camera working again for a few dodgy record shots, but no doubt there will be plenty of good pics on line from the usual suspects with long tom lens.
Kentish Plover is a species that has haunted me ever since moving down here in 2006, and this is the first Dungeness record during that time. I`ve lost count of the number of times I`ve checked the bay for this ghost from the past that formerly bred within a stones throw of Plovers. Was also good to bump into Adrian L and Andy T, a couple of old faces from the Bedfordshire birding scene of former years.
Also on Burrowes, Common Sandpiper, Sanderling and Little Gull. The Hoopoe was again seen at the end of Dengemarsh Road today, as was the Bee-eater this morning around the water tower, which prompted an influx of twitchers hoping to see the Mediterranean duo as well as the KP.