A strong SSE breeze met me as I climbed the cliff path early doors and as I reached Langdon cliffs I realised a semi-shift in the seasons had occurred : the headland was full of birdsong. Yellowhammers were dotted about singing away (after not seeing one for over a month!) As were up to 10 Corn Buntings. Linnets seemed to have arrived overnight and were muttering to each other in flocks aswell as fully singing in a couple of places. Meadow Pipits song flighting along the cliffs, joining the already enthusiastic Skylarks, It sounded great.

A Snow bunting was heard overhead as I walked along Reach road which appeared a few minutes later on the fenceline near the old Airstrip so presumably the wintering bird which I havent seen for a while.

A Brambling flew over Langdon Hole in circles calling but other than 2 Redpoll East there was little other Finch movement. The herd of cattle on the cliffs near the lighthouse did exactly what I had hoped for in attracting migrant insectivores in the form of 2 White Wagtails. Hopefully more of that kind of thing as spring progresses.

A single Chiffchaff was noted in top wood and in lower wood a Eurasian Treecreeper was singing. 3 Firecrest and a Coal tit were also counted here.

Whislt chatting to Lucy L near her home we picked up a Red kite low over the old windmill garden, then another 2 very high with a Common Buzzard heading Northish. A quick scan of the sea got me a nice flock of 50 or so Brent Geese east aswell as many Great crested Grebes and 2 Red throated Divers on the water near Fan Bay.

A trip to the timber merchants in Deal was interrupted by a Text from Gerald S letting me know of a juv Glaucous Gull he had found on deal beach a few minutes away from where i was standing so I raced over and we watched it for a while before it was chased away by the local Herring gulls. Fantastic bird; my first and only White winged Gull of the winter.

Author: Jamie Partridge

Birding South East Kent: Langdon Hole to South Foreland

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