Saturday, 29 December 2007
Friday 28th December
Off patch gain today, after an unexpected ticket out to visit Dungeness to catch up with some Smew. Travelling along the A2070 I caught a glimpse of white in one of the fields west of Snave and so made a detour towards Brenzett Green to check it out. Sure enough a scan across the fields behind Court-at-Wich farmhouse (TR005297) confirmed what I suspected, a flock of Berwick Swans, 50 in total - contaminated with 36 Mutes.
Finally arriving at Dunge I struggled, but eventually located the Red-necked Grebe on the north-east side of the northern Long Pit. It showed briefly 3 times, before diving and disappearing amonst the reeds. A quick seawatch (15 mins!) in extremely windy conditions threw up double figure Kittiwakes and Razorbill with a couple of Gannets fighting against the wind. Retiring to the relative comfort of the RSPB reserve I was pleased to see 14 Smew (inc. 3 drakes), 3 Goosander and 1 Red-crested Pochard amongst the assembled wildfowl.
The car was severly buffeted by the wind as I drove along Walland Marsh at dusk, and not suprisingly in the conditions no owls or harriers were seen, although a Peregrine glanced past just west of Old Cheyne Court.