Bob and Judy, Bob and Sue, Al and Jill met at the Centre car park at 9.30 on what had started out as a rather grey and foggy morning. (It seems the Visitor Centre opens at 10.00 now, and the Reserve itself was locked until 9.30.)
We had a look at the dipping pool and swiftly located the long eared owl. Scans from the first three hides were productive, with two goosanders being found, along with a good variety of duck. Pintail and goldeneye were the highlights, with avocet, shelduck and a chiffchaff soon added to the list.
We decided to search again for the ring necked duck, which was found soon after our arrival at the entrance track, as were three snipe, a common buzzard and a marsh harrier. There were many wigeon seen, and Canada and greylag geese were also noted.
From here we decided to have lunch at the Hanson ARC hide, and a kestrel was seen on the way. A bonus came in the form of the six Bewick’s swans on one of the islands; common gulls were seen from here, too, and a Cettis warbler called from the reedbed.
We split up at about 1.30 p.m., and Bob and Judy had a good look at the various pits on the way to Scotney – one produced a black throated diver. A short return visit to the Centre produced a yellow legged gull. Bob and Sue had made a quick visit to Pett Pools, with only little grebe and the usual oystercatchers and curlews being added.
Total numbers of birds seen were +/-65, and a good time had been had by all.