Lade - wet and windy, S5 - The morning started dry enough but the rain soon swept up from the south and set in for the day. A surprise find was a flock of five Whooper Swans on north lake, alongside three Mutes, although they didn`t stay put for long and soon flew off towards Lydd, calling wildly. They were only my second record at Lade in just over 14 years and were most likely the birds seen at Scotney in mid-week. A Great White Egret hunkered down in the main reedbed on south lake was the first for some time, while most of the ducks and grebes were sheltering from the strengthening wind around the willow swamp where several Water Rails were heard.
Moving onto a windswept bird reserve where we eventually located the Red-necked Grebe hugging the reedbed in front of Screen hide on ARC and still eluding the camera. Burrowes was quiet with just the usual waterfowl taking shelter from the tempest, while there was negative news on the wintering Smew. At Dungeness an immature Iceland Gull was seen between the seawatch hide and the fishing boats this morning amongst thousands of gulls.