Lade - cold, sunny, NW 3 - The much forecast cold front from the north swept over the Marsh overnight with dawn heralding the first frost of the season. I wasn't expecting a great deal from this mornings circular walk but almost immediately flushed two Ring Ouzels, several Blackbirds and a Redwing from cover by the cattery, from where a single Dartford Warbler briefly posed atop the gorse along with two Stonechats, Reed Bunting and Chaffinches. On the lakes two Great White Egrets and our first Goldeneye on north reinforced the wintry feel. Buzzard, Marsh Harrier and Sparrowhawk also noted, plus Cetti`s Warbler, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Little Egrets, Kingfisher and Chiffchaff around the ponds.
However, bird of the morning was undoubtedly a Bittern, a regular winter visitor at Lade and a species not to be ignored however long you`ve been birding. The far side of the willow swamp reedbed was in complete shelter from the nippy wind and in full sunshine and much to the liking of this Bittern which sunbathed for at least an hour, fully in the open!
Two visits to the bay delivered the obligatory waders, a few Sandwich Terns and Med Gulls.