Lade - cold, cloudy, sw 3 - Started the day on the local patch under glowering skies with an icy wind and finished at dusk in a torrential hail storm, during which time we sought shelter under the aerial mound tunnel - Barney was not impressed! Apparently, on the Wealden Hills just to the north there was a sprinkling of the first snows of winter as a warm weather front off the Atlantic collided with colder air from the east. Birdwise there was little to report apart from 75 Magpies going to roost in the willow swamp this evening.
A late tour of Walland Marsh today delivered 14 Bewick`s Swans within a herd of 160 Mutes at Midley, four Corn Buntings and a Yellowhammer at the drying barns (which have now been `tidied up`), 1,000 plus Fieldfares at Hawthorn Corner and four Buzzards and two Kestrels along the lanes. The front pits and grass at Scotney was full of birds; mainly feral geese, Wigeon and Lapwings as well as a few Redshanks, two Ruff and a Green Sandpiper. On the lakes a female Scaup at the Sussex end amongst the Tufteds and Pochards, a Goldeneye, two Marsh Harriers and a Peregrine; the Long-tailed Duck was also present (MC). At Lydd at least 120 White-fronted Geese in the oil-seed rape fields between Cockles Bridge and Culver Lane while a Glossy Ibis flew towards the reserve. A Black-throated Diver found earlier by MC was still on ARC.