New Romney - warm, dry and sunny, SE3 - These past two mornings I`ve been walking the lanes and farmland hereabouts for rumours of spring. Yesterday the walk to Lydd across the Salts via Belgar Farm produced up to 100 Skylarks feeding in stubble and around the market garden fields as well as several birds in song overhead, along with Reed Buntings claiming territories beside Dengemarsh Sewer. The first `jangling` Corn Buntings of the season were also present with at least three singers atop fence posts, plus small flocks of Stock Doves, Fieldfares, Linnets and Chaffinches, one or two Meadow Pipits, two Green Woodpeckers, a Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. On the way home from a Sea Power gig in Folkestone last night a Barn Owl flew across the road by Littlestone Golf Course.
Today an early morning walk down Hope Lane to the New Cut was notable for singing Song Thrushes, Yellowhammers and `mewing` Buzzard. This afternoon I joined CP out on Walland Marsh for the monthly harrier count that had been delayed from last Sunday due to the poor weather. It was a glorious sunset with clear skies and light airs at our viewpoint from where 10 Marsh Harriers came to roost in a nearby reedbed. There was little else of note in the general area apart from a single Whooper Swan amongst a group of Mutes, four roosting Great White Egrets, two Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and as dusk descended vocalising Water Rail, Cetti`s Warbler, Snipe, Lapwing, Golden Plover and a distant Barn Owl.