Lade - mild, windy, sunny, w 4 - Around the local patch this weekend there was more than a hint of winter about the place. Yesterday morning two Goldeneyes on south lake, an adult Little Gull, 10 Mediterranean and an adult Caspian Gull on north lake being the highlights, while in the afternoon two drake Goosanders (seen earlier on Burrowes) dropped in on south before being flushed by the SAR helicopter. A stake out at dusk behind the `mirrors` at last delivered a Short-eared Owl quartering the rough ground by the airport, plus hundreds of corvids and Woodpigeons to roost and five Marsh Harriers.
Over the years I`ve noticed all sorts of beached corpses, but a sheep was new for the dead list, presumably the one seen on Friday at Dungeness, along with a deer carcass. The theory is that most of these dead `uns get washed down the river Rother and out to sea before drifting east along the coast on the prevailing winds and currents.
This morning we called in briefly at the seawatch hide and joined the regulars where hundreds of Gannets and Red-throated Divers rounded the point into Rye bay, along with a few auks, Kittiwakes and a couple of Fulmars. Called in at the bird reserve around midday when a Glossy Ibis had just dropped onto the pools and ditches at Boulderwall where it continued to give mostly brief flights views on and off through the afternoon in a blustery wind. The wet fields were packed out with the likes of gulls, Starlings, Lapwings, Golden Plovers, Wigeons, egrets, feral geese and swans.
The two Whooper Swans remained in the field by the dung heap along Dengemarsh Road although the four Bewick`s were reported on Walland Marsh by Swamp Crossing. The Slavonian Grebe was still on the gravel pit to the west of the caravan park at Pigwell, Lydd.