Dungeness - cool, cloudy, showers, SE 3 - Spent the day guiding for Clare and Peter from London. We started at the point in dry weather connecting with a perched Sparrowhawk on the old experimental station fence line and a Peregrine on the power station. Grounded migrants were few and far between apart from Common Whitethroats, two Lesser Whitethroats and several Stonechats. Moving onto Lade where the bay delivered a couple of hundred Sandwich Terns from the Tavern viewpoint, plus 100 Mediterranean, 50 Black-headed and 20 Common Gulls, several Sanderlings, a Grey Plover and pulses of south bound Swallows. Next stop Lade pits and all three species of hirundines and a Swift were on the move over the willow swamp and where we had superb views of a flock of warblers by the ponds; particularly Lesser and Common Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff. As it was high tide a check of the Kerton Road pit delivered a roosting flock of 500 Oystercatchers and 150 Sandwich Terns, providing a fine spectacle along with three Black-tailed and two Bar-tailed Godwits and a variety of gulls and geese.
Throughout the afternoon the rain showers came so we sought sanctuary on the bird reserve. Burrowes was quiet due to ongoing grass-clearing on the islands while three Cattle Egrets showed well amongst the cows at Boulderwall fields by Cooks Pool. The ARC from Hanson hide is still the best spot on the RSPB and where we noted a Raven over and plenty of common wildfowl and waders including a Spotted Redshank, a Little Ringed Plover and two each of Golden Plover and Common Sandpiper amongst hundreds of Lapwings, 15 Ringed Plovers and 12 Dunlins; surely Little Stints and Curlew Sandpipers can`t be far away... We finished the day with an obligatory seawatch from the hide in driving rain where 50 or so close Sandwich Terns drifted by along with an attendant Arctic Skua, plus several Gannets further out. 71 species were logged through the day, the highlights being good views of the terns and waders at Kerton Road, plus the Lade warbler flock.