Dungeness - mild, overcast, SW 3 - Following heavy overnight rain with misty humid conditions I opted for a trek around the Long Pits and Trapping Area with Ted in tow on Friday morning. Early on there was plenty of warbler activity, mainly around the northern end of Long Pits, from the nine commoner species including my first Garden Warbler of spring. Otherwise the only other migrant of note was a Cuckoo. A scan from the bridge at Lade produced my first two Swifts of spring.
Across the weekend I worked the farmland tracts around New Romney with Ted where many more Reed Warblers and a few Sedge Warblers had moved into the reedbed margins along the sewers. The hedgerows to the north of town held a few Lesser and Common Whitethroats, Cetti`s Warblers, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs while Swallows are now noticeable at stables and on overhead wires. On the arable lands a few Yellow Wagtails are present along with the usual Skylarks and at least two pairs of Meadow Pipits. Small numbers of Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, Linnet and Greenfinch have all returned to breed and Buzzards are regularly seen soaring over the town, much to the consternation of the local Herring Gulls. Elsewhere, seawatching off Dungeness continues to be slow going although a Pom Skua was noted this afternoon. On the reserve a pair of Black-winged Stilts frequented the hayfields while Garganey, Wood Sandpiper, Turtle Dove, Hooded Crow and White Stork have all been recorded.