After the early morning rain cleared up I went to Dungeness or perhaps should I say Lydd and pay my respects to the two cattle egrets alongside the Denge Marsh road. As I arrived one was sitting on a roadside fence post but I was unable to get a photo and had to wait when they were walking about in the mire! A quick stop at the ARC finding a goldeneye and GWE then onto the RSPB where there were 6 goosanders, 1 fem smew, 1 Slavonian grebe. 200 cormorants and 1 ruddy duck (keep that one a secret).
On the way home stopped at Chilham to say hello to the shrike again.
Just a quick trip down to the Seasalter roost lunchtime after having a special breakfast with the kids and 'Santa'.. Plenty of dunlin and a good count of 16 sanderling
A bit of birding and Xmas shopping this morning......First stop was at Seasalter, a rather cold morning, finding 22 gadwall, c.50 teal in the NRA dyke, nothing much else here so onto a mission to get 'Buckaroo' if that's how its spelt. After Canterbury was searched by my other half I was sent to Tesco's etc but we both failed to come up with the goods. Someone said, 'try Kids Corner', Herne Bay and yes, bingo they had some. Going back to Whitstable I thought I'll have a look at Hampton and yes, the 4 purple sandpipers were on show. I then took a walk along the prom back towards Swalecliffe hoping to see the Med gull I saw the other week but no luck, just turnstones.
A couple of hours out this morning visiting Swalecliffe finding the 6 snow buntings and a huge goldfish or Koi c.18 - 20 inches long in the Brook. How on earth did that get there?
Back at Seasalter, a kingfisher at the NRA plus teal, coots and mallard. Out on the mud, c700 knot, the odd grey plover etc.
A morning at the cold Stodmarsh 'Reedbed Hide' proved rewarding with 3 bitterns seen plus distant marsh harriers and sparrowhawk.
Another look around the patch, the first stop was along SS Lane, the whole area white with frost. No small birds about but a few swans, a heron plus two hares chasing across the fields to the south. At Mt Pleasant corner a peregrine was on a pylon plus 4 song thrushes, 6 fieldfares flying over and a chaffinch.
At the seafront the usual waders plus 65 barwits just off the NRA, c1000 knot, c.100 goldies on the flats and good numbers of dunlin all over. I walked into the plots which were quiet except for a flock of 32 mipits which seemed unusual, a group of 17 teal were sitting on the ice covered dyke and two snipe were flushed by something. Lastly, a marsh harrier flew west over to the fields behind the LNR.