Lade - warm, dry and cloudy, light airs - A superb mornings birding on the local patch with a wide range of migrant and wetland species noted. Two flocks of passerines kept me busy for ages; the first one at the ponds where at least 30 Chiffchaffs and five Blackcaps mingled with loads of tits, finches, Robins and Dunnocks (surely there must be a Yellow-browed here at the very least this coming week, what with the predicted easterly airflow) and our first Goldcrest of autumn calling from the swamp, along with several Cetti`s Warblers, Bearded Tits and Water Rails.
Onto the lakes where 200 Shovelers were the pick of the ducks, plus two Great White and five Little Egrets around the margins, and Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk and Buzzard by the `mirrors`. The Desert yielded a cracking Merlin chasing Mipits, 100 Linnets, 100 Starlings, six Stonechats, a Wheatear and several Kestrels, plus Skylarks, Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Pied Wagtails and two Siskins overhead.
On the way home for breakfast we stumbled upon another passerine flock in bramble scrub behind the cattery that contained mostly House Sparrows, Mipits, Reed Buntings, Chiffchaffs, two Stonechats, a few Blackbirds and Robins and a Dartford Warbler.
After breakie we headed down the beach on a falling tide where thousands of Common and Black-headed Gulls covered the sands along with all the usual Curlews and Oycs, 100 Sanderling, 50 Dunlin, 10 Barwits, and single figures of Ringed Plover and Turnstone, plus 20 Shelducks, 200 Sandwich Terns, 10 Mediterranean Gulls and two Arctic Skuas along the shoreline.
As I said, a superb morning of 72 species, and all within a one mile walk of Plovers!