Monday 18 March 2024


Mild, cloudy, dry SW3 - We started the morning on the local patch at Lade where a decent spread of common diving and dabbling ducks were still present, mostly on south lake, that included 35 Shovelers and seven Goldeneyes. At least ten pairs of Great Crested Grebes have taken up territories while several Little Grebes could be heard trilling around the willow swamp. Passerines were in short supply with a couple of singing Skylarks and a Stonechat on the Desert, plus two each of Chiffchaff and Cetti`s Warblers around the ponds. However, the highlight was a person playing the pan-pipes by the swing-bridge, a first for me here!

                                  Wheatears, Dungeness

Moving onto Dungeness where a walk along the beach produced our first three Wheatears of spring by the new lighthouse. It was also good to see the first returning Linnets, plus Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Skylark and Pied Wagtail all ramping up for the forthcoming breeding season. A singing Chiffchaff in the old lighthouse garden and a Peregrine perched on a pylon were the only other birds of note. On the bird reserve the Boulderwall fields were busy with the usual feral geese, Wigeons, Lapwings and a Great white Egret, while the Black-necked Grebe was reported from Denegemarsh and the two divers on Burrowes.

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