John K, Alan N, Peter J and Sue P arrived at Rye on a bright but cold and windy morning, to hear a mistle thrush singing in the trees by the car park. Walking out, we found lesser black backed gull, a handsome male reed bunting, plenty of linnets, and heard Med gulls overhead. Greater black backed gulls were roosting, and oystercatchers, redshanks, grey plover, dunlin, a bar tailed godwit, little ringed and ringed plovers, avocets, golden plover, and shelduck were noted. Skylarks were singing and displaying throughout our walk.
Other birds seen included common gulls and common terns. A brief seawatch produced gannets, sandwich terns, great crested grebes, and a flock of sanderling.
At Ternery Pool we saw hundreds of black headed and Med gulls, but few other species other than greylag geese, tufted duck, little grebe, coot, little egret, grey heron and moorhen.
Walking in the direction of Harbour Barns, we were very thrilled to see our first yellow wagtails of the year, looking dazzling in the sunlight. Sedge warblers were singing from the scrubby bushes, and we found a common whitethroat which sang and showed briefly. Cetti’s warbler was heard here.
After a coffee break back at the car park, we headed to Dungeness. Here it was still very cold, but we found a few more ducks – long tailed, gadwall, teal, shoveler, pochard, wigeon. Pied wagtail was seen, and three yellow wagtails flew over the car park. Stock dove and Canada geese were added to the list, and Peter alerted us to three whimbrel flying over. Wheatear (a female) was another nice find, and more sedge warblers were heard. Moving on to the Hanson ARC Pit, we had excellent views of tree sparrows by Boulderwall Farm, and of three marsh harriers. Green woodpecker, chiffchaff and water rail were heard calling, and we finally managed to see swallows – three of them – and a kestrel.
Pictures to follow soon.