It has to said that it was rather breezy at the start of our trip to Dungeness but gradually the wind dropped and it turned into a lovely day. Hundreds (thousands?) of black – headed gulls were flying against the wind close in along the beach and further out gannets could be seen soaring and diving in all directions. Only one of us (me!) managed to see the flock of common and velvet scoter skimming along just above the waves but, as Sally did not see them, she tells me this sighting is “unverified”. At least 200 cormorants were just offshore and we later counted another 300 more in trees at the RSPB reserve – at least everyone managed to see them! The grey headed “sinensis” individuals looked really good in the sunshine. Still on the beach it was difficult to keep the telescopes steady so taking photographs was almost impossible. But Terry wandered off and found 8 turnstones doing what they are good at.
After lunch we walked around the RSPB reserve. Goosander (2 females), smew (1 male 10 females), goldeneye (3 females), and pintail (30+) along with hundreds of wigeon were some of the highlights of the day but best of all were the 300+ shovelars grouped tightly together in a sheltered area of a pool. Several marsh harriers, a buzzard, one kestrel and a peregrine were our birds of prey for the day and just before we left the reserve a great white egret flew right over our heads.