Oct 072011

It was a fine hot sunny day for our October visit to Dungeness with little wind about.  So nice for birdwatchers and perhaps too nice for migrants – which would have made the most of the good weather and kept on going south!  We started by exploring the areas behind the lighthouse and the bushes around the ‘coastguard’ cottages.  Birds found included black redstart , linnet, goldfinch, meadow pipit, house sparrow, swallow & chiffchaff.

We then walked out to the sea and  despite the calm conditions saw sandwich and ‘comic’ tern, herring, black-headed and great-black backed gulls.  Slightly further out there was a winter guillimot, and two great-crested grebes and even further out some scoter flew past, plus a few adult gannets and one skua (presumably an arctic).

Following lunch at the RSPB reserve picnic tables – suitably free for our use – and where we heard both green and great-spotted woodpeckers  we added to our list a range of waterfowl: mallard, teal, gadwall, tufted, pochard, pintail, wigeon, coot, moorhen, snipe, lapwing, ruff, grey heron plus greenfinch, chaffinch, stonechat, cettis warbler (one giving brief views), whitethroat, reed bunting, blue tit, kestrel, marsh harrier and finally we got excellent views of the great white egret from the Denge hide.