Monday 16 January 2023


Wet, cloudy, cold, NW 5 - I get the impression from reading other birding blogs that I`m not the only one struggling to post more regularly, particularly at this time of year when there is very little change to the birding scene, exacerbated by the recent dreadful wet and windy weather. Its`s certainly not for the want of trying as most days I`m out and about somewhere across Dungeness and the Marsh, but there just ain`t the birds out there. Take this morning for example. I started at Lade just after 0900hrs when the rain was still lashing down, but knowing the site like I do checked out the wetlands from sheltered spots without even locating a Goldeneye. Moving onto Dungeness where the Patch attracted a hundred or so gulls including 10 each of Mediterranean Gull and Kittiwake, while offshore the usual auks, Gannets and the occasional diver fizzed by; the highlight of the morning was a male Peregrine sheltering from the tempest on the superstructure of  A Station. A running theme throughout the region this winter has been the dearth of small passerines and today was no exception as apart from a small gang of House Sparrows at Lade the only other LBJs noted were two Chaffinches and a Meadow Pipit at the point; large wintering flocks of finches are now a distant memory. On the plus side Dengemarsh held a gaggle of feral geese and a few swans, along with a couple of hundred Lapwings and Golden Plovers and 20 Curlews on the Boulderwall fields, with a similar scene on the airport fields. As the rain eased off several hungry Marsh Harriers and Kestrels took flight, along with two Great White Egrets at Cockles Bridge. 

                                 Chaffinch, Peregrine, Kittiwake, Dungeness

However, there may be some respite this week with the weather settling down to a more colder, northerly airflow that just might deliver something new. Other than that, at least the days are steadily drawing out, which means that spring is just around the corner...

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