Lade - 0630hrs - cool, cloudy, w 3 - An early sortie on the local patch revealed the first decent fall of hirundines of the spring thus far, comprising mainly 100 Swallows, plus 20 and 10 each of Sand and House Martins respectively. A single Ring Ouzel clacked from the scrub beside the lake where there was a noticeable increase in singing Whitethroats. A Cuckoo called from the swamp, two Common Sandpipers flew across the lake and a pair of Marsh Harriers soared over Airport Pits.
Birdwatching Break - Faggs Wood - 1245hrs - After picking up Clare and Peter from Ashford we headed to the woods where despite the time of day there was a decent crop of songsters performing. Our target was Nightingale with at least four in song and one seen, plus more birds singing from across the lane in Longrope Wood. Also noted two Garden Warblers, five each of Willow Warbler, Blackcap and Chiffchaff, Cuckoo plus a range of resident species including Jay, Goldcrest, Long-tailed and Coal Tits, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Down on the Marsh we paused at Warehorne Bridge where Lesser Whitethroat, another Garden Warbler and a range of common wayside birds were seen.
Scotney - Terrific stuff here with a mixed flock of 80 Whimbrels, 10 Barwits, a Ruff and three Ringed Plovers on the front sward, plus four Med Gulls over and four Wigeon on the causeway.
Out back a flock of up to 20 Yellow Wagtails feeding around the cattle proved the main attraction, plus six Corn Buntings, Skylarks, Linnets, Pied Wagtails, Tree Sparrow, a Greenland Wheatear, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Stock Doves, 12 Avocets and a Little Ringed Plover.
Dungeness - We finished the afternoon at the Patch where a 2nd calendar year Iceland Gull was on the beach amongst the Herring and Black-headed Gulls. A 30 minute seawatch delivered little apart from two passing Gannets, and a few distant Sandwich and Commic Terns.
A run out this evening logged a hunting Short-eared Owl, a screeching Barn Owl, several Marsh Harriers, Corn Buntings, Yellow Wagtails and a foraging Badger.